Cauliflower Crust Pizza

So I got a little wicked crazy this weekend and decided to splurge on some pizza.  We do gluten-free carry out around here sometimes, but my future son-in-law inspired me to make my own cauliflower pizza crust. He made Read more

Pumpkin Chai Smoothie

Here's a throwback post that is certainly appropriate for this October weekend.  This smoothie matches the season and will be a great way to start the lovely fall day. Thanks to Smoothie Queen Amy for this great recipe I can't wait Read more

Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread So I have been struggling with gluten-free baking because honestly -- I've never been good at baking!!  Then when I try to modify recipes using flours I'm not familiar with, it just makes  a perfect storm of Read more

When Should I Take My Supplements?

If you are like me -- you are just starting to realize why it is important to add supplements to your diet.  Even if we are eating a clean, healthy and unprocessed diet;  the mineral content of the soil Read more

Magnesium-the unloved mineral

Do you remember watching Wild Kingdom as a kid?  Did you happen to notice that the animals attacking their prey would immediately eat the organ meats.  I never really thought about why until I listened to Morley Robbins explain the Read more

More Homemade Salad Dressings

Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp local honey 1/3 cup blackberries   Process all the ingredients together in a blender and then season with ground pepper and sea salt The beauty of this recipe Read more

Healthy Mayo and Ranch Dressing

This stuff is a must -- If you read labels these days you will be hard pressed to find a mayonnaise or salad dressing that doesn't contain some type of vegetable oil.  Even the commercial mayos that advertise to Read more

Sherry's Story

Sherry has a great story.  She has been diabetic for years and she has made some massive changes!   "I have been on a lifestyle change. It has been a year following a ketogenic food plan.  When I started this journey Read more

Body

So this happened—

Maybe the full moon is making me crazy or I’m flat-out insane and haven’t come to full self-realization because tonight’s Kroger excursion resulted in $120 worth of legitimate poison for my children.  No different from injecting them with heroin, I literally bought so many processed/carb/sugar-laden foods I could have put a diabetic into a coma.  I’m definitely not headed for mother of the year.   Sidney(16) has already decided that I could possibly be one of the dumbest humans on Earth and am destined to ruin her life–so what did I really have to lose by buying her exactly what she wanted? It was a massive parenting fail — similar to that newborn cat-like scream she belted as she almost tumbled to the floor one of those first nights home from the hospital at 2 am.    No – that never happened!

I have come up with 3 reasons for my temporary insanity :

  1.  I’ve spent so much time preaching to patients and trying to work on my own diet that I have nothing left to give to my own family (geez that doesn’t sound like good judgement and reasoning)
  2.  I just don’t give a shit anymore!
  3. Or — I am so busy running between work, Emma’s softball practice, Sid’s band practice, and the usual laundry/cleaning etc– that I’m completely spent.   DING DING DING

Yep –I didn’t meal plan this weekend.  I caved into convenience when I got the text from Sidney complaining that we had NOOOOO FOOD in the house.  She wanted:

Wheat Thins

Goldfish Crackers

Tostitos with Nacho cheese and Salsa

Lucky Charms

String Cheese

Coke

Frozen Pizza

Pringles (cheddar cheese flavor)

Yep –I bought every single one of those GMO-laden processed foods and will serve them to the most important people in my life just to get that “good mom” card.   I feel terrible.  I won’t eat them but how can I serve them to my girls with a clear conscious?  I won’t –but I will this guilty and remorseful moment remind myself  that even though I preach healthy eating 24/7 like I am authentic–I’m not!  I’m no different from you (probably way worse).  This leads me to my brainstormed solution that I just came up with —–Meal prep —

This is my plan for next week —

Breakfast— it’s a play on the Panera egg white/avocado/spinach sandwich –sans the bread since I’m gluten-free IMG_4759

Lunch – I will pack some PB/J for Emma on gluten-free bread (she doesn’t know) along with fruit and some nuts or seeds —-with water or all natural fruit juice.

Dinner– some organic pastured chicken/wild caught fish/ or grass-fed meat with 2-3 veggies.

That’s about as good as it gets right now for our family.  I’m not a blogger that does bento box style vegan lunches for the kids –I wish I was more like that  pinterest savvy, Food Network Giada look-alike mom—- but that’s not me — or you I am guessing.

It’s baby steps –right?

In the comments below—let me know your tips to getting healthy meals on the table?  I’ll take any advice you have–

Or better yet, share the epic fails you have made because we are all in this together!

Posted on by Angela in Body, Family, Nutrition, Whole Food 8 Comments

“One bead at a time”

I frequently ponder inequality in the world.  It bothers me that I’m not working harder to change it.   Somebody’s baby’s going hungry while we are still eating out.  I understand consequence for negative choices but I can’t rationalize being born into despair.  Recently, a patient of mine traveled to Haiti on a mission trip.  She shared some interesting stories…

“The Haitian village that we worked in was a very close-knit community.  Women are the primary caretakers of the children and most of what they know is passed down from the older women of the village.  Unfortunately, this includes a ton of what we would call “old wives’ tales”.  Because of the lack of financial resources, women must breastfeed.  They simply cannot afford to buy formula.  However, young mothers will often be influenced by older women that their milk is “bad”.  They believe if a mother cries a lot (due to postpartum depression) while she is nursing her baby, that the tears will create a vacuum that literally sucks her milk up into her head where her brain will then poison the milk when it travels back to her breasts.  Young mothers, not wanting to poison their babies with breast milk, will sometimes feed them a watered-down inadequate supply of formula leading to malnutrition.  Or they will try to feed them baby food instead of milk when they are much too young to digest it well which leads to diarrhea

The Haitians are in dire need of basic nutrition and health classes.  But I think it will take patience and consistent teaching over years — maybe decades — before it overcomes the old wives’ tales and superstitions they have been taught.”—–Denise

This year at Christmas, our office decided to forgo the annual secret Santa gift exchange and donate to Gleaner’s Food bank.   I was then stricken with the decision of what to give the office staff that would follow this “give back” theme.  I found a great local chapter of Amani Organization that solved my dilemma.

The Amani Children’s Foundation partners with New Life Home Trust to care for abandoned and HIV+ infants and nurses them back to health.  Since 1993, New Life Homes has rescued over 1200 infants.  OurIndianapolischapter sells beads and Kenyan market items to raise money to support these foundations.  The beads are made by Kenyan women at the Kazuri Bead Factory.  These beads are then brought to theUSand crafted into jewelry, key chains and novelty items.  100% of the proceeds go back to these hard-working Kenyan women to nourish and clothe their families.  Thanks Indy Amani for opening the local chapter in 2009.  More importantly, thank you for easing my mind when buying a gift for someone that isn’t starving.  At least it gives me a morsel of integrity.  This is my baby step to alter inequality, contributing to help feed infants hatched into desperation.

What a difference it makes!
Visit Amani’s site today and online ordering is now available!
 
Posted on by Angela in Benevolence, Call to action, Charity, Crafts, disease, Family, Mind, Spirit 1 Comment

Sabotaged by the Holidays

How to keep holiday festivities from sabotaging your health.

 

We all want to join in the fun of the holiday season. But late nights, too much food and drink, and the stress of meeting others’ expectations can do a number on your health and fitness. Is it possible to allow yourself a few indulgences without completely undermining your wellbeing?

 

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Dr. Kathryn Colteryahn, with IU Health Physicians – Internal Medicine, provides practical advice on maintaining a healthy holiday season.

Learn more

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Yes, and there are two keys to success: staying active and setting realistic expectations.

 

Daily exercise, even moderate activity such as walking or taking the stairs, helps burn additional calories, relieves stress, and inspires more healthful eating habits. Try substituting a few food-centric activities (like baking cookies) with more physical activities: take the family ice skating, go caroling, or volunteer at a soup kitchen.

 

Next, be realistic. If you’re following a weight loss plan, don’t expect to shed pounds in December, but try to maintain your weight instead. Don’t indulge every single day; stick to healthful foods when you can.

 

Specifically, here’s how you can control the most common holiday culprits:

 

All those parties. Eat a light meal and drink plenty of water before you go. While you’re there, enjoy a glass of wine or champagne, but alternate with club soda on the rocks with lime. The appearance of a drink in your hand will make it less likely someone else will insist on pouring you another.

Break room candy and popcorn. If these gifts are from vendors, let them know you’d rather have a healthier alternative, like a fruit basket. If that fails, avoid the break room by taking a brisk walk instead.

 

Dining out too often. Have the server box up half before your meal is brought to the table. (Don’t worry about offending, they’re used to this request.) Make more time for cooking at home by spending a little time on Sunday afternoon to prep the week’s meals. Picking up a few groceries daily on your lunch hour, as opposed to on your way home, can help you avoid the break room candy and get you home a littler earlier to enjoy your time in the kitchen.

 

Pressure from family and friends. The truth is, we usually bring this pressure on ourselves. So prioritize. Be honest by saying that you simply cannot get around to everyone, every year. Alternate between different branches of the family from year to year. It’s okay to say no, and you’ll be surprised at how understanding they are.

 

And remember, it’s okay NOT to have plans, too. Take time off for yourself. Remain active, as well as realistic.

 

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Author of this article

Kathryn Colteryahn, MD, specializes in internal medicine. She is a guest columnist and located at IU Health West Hospital, 1115 Ronald Regan Parkway, Suite 318, in Avon. She can be reached by calling the office at 317.217.2632.

 

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Exercise, Family, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Organic, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Heaven Sent Holiday

I love my mother in law–she declares Thanksgiving as her holiday of the year.   We are all required to show up and sit around, eat, and chat.  The children and their cousins hit the basement and play non-stop and there are hours of uninterrupted adult conversation!  I think all the other mother’s out there can agree that this scenario is absolutely heaven sent!  This year—I will be taking a holiday salad just to feel as I am contributing some.  Check out this great vision of beauty straight off pinterest.  It’s the winter berry wreath salad—-to die for and nothing but healthy ingredients!

Prep time: 20 mins

Total time: 20 mins

 

Serves: 8

 

Ingredients

 

  • 1 head of Iceberg lettuce
  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 bunches grapes
  • 1 apple (chopped)
  • 1 Pear (chopped and sliced for decoration)
  • 6 Strawberries (2 whole for decorating the rest chopped)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzaoa cheese
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 Tbsp diced fresh onion
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard (Grey Poupon is what I used)
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2/3 cup olive oil

 

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

 

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Family, Green Living, Organic, vegan, Weight Loss Leave a comment

Alexander and the terrible,horrible,no good,really bad day!

So I had a bad day!  The chips are open in the break room and the drug rep just brought frozen yogurt—-I want to eat all of it!  Then, I want to go to Taco Bell on the way home and get nachos; topping it off with a candy bar.  My salad with garbanzo beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives just doesn’t cut it!  I’m sitting here thinking this when it dawned on me—I’m not hungry!  I don’t want to eat, I want to cry!  I am making a catastrophe out of all the things in my life that I have no control over.   I’ve taken one small piece of bad news and turned into the apocalypse within minutes.  The downward spiral of thoughts in my head has overwhelmed the senses of my body.  There are things in my life and world that are out of my control:  they make me anxious and paranoid.  I can’t accept these things I cannot change.  But, do I have a choice?  Not really.  I can accept them or abuse my body pretending that I can change things.  Ultimately, the only thing I change is myself for the worse if I make that choice.  How self-defeating is that?  So I’m going to turn on some sad music –CRY– and then take a deep breath and make the most of what I’m grateful for today.  Today has been awful, but tomorrow will be better!   If Alexander moves to Australia—I’m going with him.

Posted on by Angela in Body, Call to action, Family, Spirit 2 Comments

Toxic Relationships and Superheros

Maybe we should all read that book, “Women who love too much”–If you find yourself drained, not fulfilled, and not being pampered by your loved one; are you really living the life you were meant to live?  I think not!  That bad boy relationship that seemed so inviting and exciting, will only leave you spent and tired.  Yes, those men are fun and full of passion, but it only lasts for a moment.  Remember what you are worth and how much you have to offer in this world.  Don’t sell yourself short girl–This too shall pass.  It’s ok to be different!  It’s ok to be you–that makes you different-not wrong!

I write these words of encouragement for many female patients whom neglect themselves and their own needs in order to be superwoman only projecting  the image of perfection as wives and mothers!  I am certainly the pot calling the kettle black with this one since I have to remind myself daily that I don’t have to solve every problem or issue that comes up in our household.  It’s a narcissistic martyr role that I take when I try to do everything for everyone in my family.  I think I am doing it out of kindness when I am actually doing it to prove to myself that I can.  Then I resent everyone else for allowing me to do everything!  When we make life too easy for our families and children–we disable them and neglect ourselves.  I really don’t want my girls to fall into a pattern of overextending and resenting so I have vowed to try to lead by example and make the change for the better.

Luckily, my bad boy is actually a good one and he has been more than understanding and encouraging in my new “setting limits”  mode.  Fortunately, he wears his cape with less martyrdom than I ever did.

Posted on by Angela in Body, Call to action, Family, Humor, Mind, Spirit Leave a comment

The New Normal – A Modern Family

Let’s face it.  We aren’t living in a “Leave it to Beaver” world anymore.  That’s why I relate to Claire from Modern Family a little better than June Cleaver.  Do I have dinner on the table at 5 pm nightly?  Of course not.  I work and don’t even get home by five.    Do I like texting my daughter at college rather than calling her to see how her day was?  Heck no!   Unfortunately, calling her would leave me hanging for days.  Sensibly,  I text her and she responds in nanoseconds.  These days we are forced to ask ourselves, how can we connect without relying on the reality of what we were raised to believe was normal?  I think Theresa Mazza does a great job with this post. We adapt and reconsider what we value daily–it may not be “normal” for us, but it just may be what we do to stand for what we think is right.  Change is hard in the dance of  life.  Occasionally, we take a leap of faith.

 

 

Here is Theresa’s recent post–be sure to visit her blog at http://www.theresamazza.com

Cultural and societal norms seem to move as fast as the white waters of the Colorado River. The recent NBC series, The New Normal, highlights this reality. Every day it seems like there’s a new normal. What was normal 90 days ago is old school, out-dated, and irrelevant. Remember when paying for your flight included your luggage? That was then; now it’s normal to pay additional fees for each piece you check. Or remember when Christmas shopping meant fighting crowds and shopping till you literally dropped? But what normal person would put themselves through all that when you can shop for just about everything online and have it delivered right to your front steps?

The biggest question is, who decides what’s normal? The truth is, what’s normal for society doesn’t always become the norm in our personal lives. It’s normal for mothers to dress like their daughters these days, but maybe you can’t imagine adopting that as a personal norm. It’s more normal than ever to get a tattoo but, although I think tattoos are cool, I admit I’m all talk when it comes to getting one.

So what are we to do when we just can’t adopt the new norms that surround us? Do we picket and boycott, give in, do nothing, flounder in between, or do we resolve to continue loving people and allow Christ to shape our normal rather than society? “That’s normal” should never be the reason we accept something as a norm. Normal for the believer must come out of a relationship with our Creator.

In Genesis normal shifted as fast as it’s shifting now. It was normal for Adam to hang out in the Garden, walking and talking with God. It was normal for Adam and Eve to walk around naked. It was also normal for people and God to be so connected that God always knew where they were. But then, normal changed.

What happened?

Adam and Eve decided to adopt norms that were not in the interest of each other or their relationship with God, but self-interested. They left God out. This decision changed normal for them. In this Genesis story we see fear of God becoming normal over connection with God, we see blame becoming normal over caring for one another, we see a God who was normally delighted in his creation experience disappointment, we see a God who was able to give, now having to take away. It wasn’t just the first sin; it was the first time humans adopted a new normal outside of the normal God had established for them.

Self interest and the desire to know more and experience more allows normal to define us. Interest in others before ourselves and a desire to know God allows us to define normal. When our relationship with God is the deciding factor of the normal in our life we can influence normal instead of normal influencing us.

When we embrace God’s idea of normal, we can be a part of positive shifts in the society and culture we live in.

A “me” society can become a “we” society.
A violent people can become a peaceful people.
An exclusive local church can become an inclusive local church.
Global awareness can become global impact.
Followers can become leaders.

I recently spoke to group of teenagers about normal and left them with these two things:
Desire God first, and influence normal instead of letting normal influence you.

Where do we start? In the beginning…where God desired to walk with us, talk with us, share everything with us, create with us, and love us. Pursue God. Choose and live by his idea of normal for you. Then embrace and glorify him in your normal everyday life.

Romans 12 from the Message Bible says…

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Family, Guest Blog, Humor, Mind, Spirit 2 Comments

“When I let go of who I am, I become who I will be”—Day #1

“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed.” -Lloyd Dobler (Say Anything)

When I was a little girl–the words “become a professional and don’t expect someone else to take care of you” were gently and repetitively etched into my head.  I think that is why I aspired to become a doctor.  I didn’t want to do law, I have no passion for rules.  A business owner seemed too processed for me.  I wanted to help people.

When I was in college after already committing my life to become a doctor, I became terribly ill and landed a spot in the hospital.  My doctor at the time told me “You are not going to die”  That phrase I will never forget because at that moment–I felt like I might.  I was then forever indebted to becoming that person who would reassure a patient that their darkest hours were not at hand.   I studied hard and abstained from activities my peers were engaged in only to persue my dream.  Eleven years ago my dream came true and I was finally the doctor starting practice and ready to change the lives of many.  I was trained to treat every disease with the best of medicines and could conquer any patient’s complaint.  Unfortunately, those concepts drastically changed as I continued to evolve as a person and was touched by each patient that I met.  After ten years of medicine I could feel myself beginning to change but I wasn’t quite sure just what the change was.  Then the day Susan came in I began to have a greater focus.

A few years ago, Susan, a popular vet in the local community with 4 boys, came to me tearstricken and upset.  She had developed an autoimmune disease seven years before that had debilitated her to the point that she was unable to function as the woman, mother, and wife that she had once been.  Tears welled in my eyes during that annual visit as I noted her spirit and life’s luster being eroded by the burden of her disease.  I told her … “I am no superwoman, I have no answers for you.”  We could only pray together that things would change.

The following monday morning she called and said  “My pastor pulled me aside after church on Sunday and told me he had dreamt I got a second opinion and was healed.”  I immediately called a physician who I had not seen since residency.  He was leaving for a mission trip to Haiti the next day and the only way he could see her was if she could be there in thirty minutes.  Ironically, she had no patients scheduled that day, had a babysitter for her kids, and was already having lunch in the area.  He told her that it wasn’t a disease, it was an allergy.  He hadn’t a clue as to what she might be ingesting that would cause this severe reaction. Eventually, she discovered that she had to eliminate red dye # 40 from her diet and she is 100% healthy now.

I have spent countless hours walking in the woods and enjoying my own family.   Yet, I continue to watch many other patients struggle with their inability to share the same pleasures in life.  I have now realized that I have been on the wrong track.  We dont need to cure and treat disease–we need to prevent it!
All the years of training to to heal people have proven that I have been coexisting with them.  I must shift my role to help them before the diseases takes hold.  I must help my patients change themselves.  I realize that the best way to change the world is to change yourself.

Thus—I will simply become who I am by letting go of what I thought I was and hope to do the same for those who come to me for help.

Posted on by Angela in Diet, Family, Humor, Mind, Nutrition, Spirit, Whole Food Leave a comment

Childhood Obesity

There is no controversy over the fact that childhood obesity is a huge problem in the United States.  More than enough data and research has been done to prove that 1 in 5 American children will be obese by 2020 if the current trends continue.  These are the facts, but what can we do to change things?  There are many possible actions but it all starts at the home level.  We can be more successful as parents by leading by example.  For instance, making my girls watch “Forks Over Knives” and “Hungry For Change” was a real battle;  they did however get some subliminal messages from watching those two documentaries.  I noticed they replaced the traditional peanut butter cracker after school snack with fruit.  They get more messages from me as they see me painfully wean my diet mtn dew consumption.  Changing a lifestyle and years of bad habits isn’t easy.  My theory is that if I change myself gradually, they will also.  Research shows that replacing sugar-sweetened beverages in schools could reduce obesity by 12 kcal/day, as long as children didn’t consume any extra sugary drinks outside of school.   So that is my call to action, I have to eliminate the sugar at home first.   There aren’t any distinct answers in how to change the diet of the country and healthcare on average.  But, it starts with us!  Let’s do this Marines.  Let’s work to educate ourselves on whole foods and nutrition.  Lead by example.

T. Colin Campbell does a nice 18min presentation that you can watch here:

Reference:  Wang YC, et al “Reaching the Healthy People goals for reducing childhood obesity:  closing the energy gap”  A, K Prev Med 2012

For more info on T. Colin Campbell and Forks Over Knives visit:  http://www.forksoverknives.com

Posted on by Angela in Body, Call to action, Diet, Exercise, Family, Nutrition, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food 1 Comment

Sanity Pills by Theresa Mazza

Singer/songwriter Michael W. Smith founded Rocketown in 1994 to give teens a positive alternative to the many negative pressures they face.  The first of its kind in the Southeast, Rocketown has grown into a regional outreach as well as a model for faith-based relational outreach across the country.

For several years Rocketown operated as a teen club, then organized Sunday evening programming and special events for teens. Following the tragedy of Columbine in 1999, Rocketown’s board was inspired to grow the scope of programming and move to a central location in downtown Nashville. Mark Ezell, co-founded the current facility which opened in 2003, and houses a coffee bar; photography, art and dance studios; stages for live entertainment; and Middle Tennessee’s only indoor skatepark. To date there have been more than 425,000 visits with an average of 1,350 teens from across Middle Tennessee participating in programs each week.

Theresa Mazza partnered with Michael W. Smith in creating this great faith-based venue for troubled teens.  I am honored she has allowed AngelaMD to post some of her great teachings about dealing with teenagers and maintaining your sanity.  As most of you know–I have three teenage girls at home along with a precious 5-year-old.  I struggle maintaining sanity considering that my older girls have officially decided that I am the dumbest person to walk the earth.  This too shall pass I know but Theresa’s Sanity Post was helpful to me.

Theresa writes:

It’s undeniable. Teens have a way of driving us insane! The pants on the ground, the one headphone in the right ear, the short shorts, that evil “duh” look. These typical teen characteristics alone are enough to drive us crazy. If you have a teen in your home or if you work with teens you could probably add about 100 other characteristics to the short list above. Your problem isn’t that they drive you insane with all their silly teen behaviors and desires, your problem is that you love working with teens. So how can you keep the main thing the main thing? You love teens and you desire to see them reach their full potential.

YOU NEED TO TAKE A SANITY PILL. Of course I’m not talking about real sanity pills, although you might feel like you need to be on some sort of medication at this point. I am talking about five key things that can keep you sane when the teen you love or the teens you love are trying to drive you insane!

DON’T TAKE THE BAIT

Teens have mastered the art of making adults feel disrespected or stupid. Every time a student ignores you, rolls their eyes, etc and you react in a negative way, you are taking the bait. Taking every roll of the eyes, or disrespectful comment personally will drive you insane. When you address a teen, do it with a pleasant tone, ignore any bait being thrown at you. Repeat yourself calmly if you have to, and make good eye contact. When they see that you are not responding to their tactics you’ll be amazed what results you get.

DON’T MAKE MOUNTAINS OUT OF MOLEHILLS

If your main priority is to love the student you live with or work with, keep that the main priority. Constantly policing what they wear, how they talk, what they listen to will drive you insane. I’m not at all saying that having an influence over some of those choices is not important, but it cannot be the most important. Make sure your love for your teen does not get overshadowed by things that in the end you will both laugh about.

CELEBRATE WHO THEY ARE NOT WHO THEY’RE NOT

Take the student or students that are driving you insane and write out things about them that you love or know that they are. Example – Michael is creative, has a huge heart, and is a leader. Write down a second list of things that are stealing all the attention away from the first list. Michael is leading other students in negative ways, Michael doesn’t listen, and Michael is not responsible. Now, every time you see “Michael” or your student, make a point to celebrate by affirming or connecting with the things you wrote down on the first list. It’s easy to let the negative characteristics of a student still all the limelight. Remember, this student is a person that you love and has amazing potential.

LET YOUR YES BE YES AND YOUR NO BE NO

Part of your insanity is on you and you alone. You can’t say one thing and then do another. If you say you’re going to call a student’s parents, call them. If you say you’ll send a student home, send him home. Teenagers can not live without boundaries. Students will not take you serious if you bluff. And once they call your bluff they will drive you insane.

STAY AS CLOSE TO JESUS AS POSSIBLE

In all my years of mentoring teens, the biggest thing that has kept me from going insane is Jesus. Seriously. If I did not have a close relationship with Jesus I would have reacted selfishly so many more times than I have. Pray, get time alone with him, talk to him, yell at him, whatever, but stay close to him.

Now, go love on some crazy teenagers and keep your sanity!

For more pearls of wisdom from Theresa, visit her site at http://theresamazza.com

Posted on by Angela in Body, Family, Guest Blog, Humor, Mind, Spirit 1 Comment