26 February 2014

My Omni Journey Part 13

I finished my second 45 day round of phase 2 34 pounds lower than my July starting weight. I transitioned to the maintenance phase in time for the holidays starting in November. The third phase of the omni protocol involves doubling your intake of vegetables and protein and slowly adding fats to your diet. As long as you don't add carbs and sugar, you can indulge in fats and maintain your weight. I successfully stayed within two pounds of my ending weight. 

I did another short (21 day) Phase 2 and lost another 7 pounds and am now maintaining that loss.  I couldn't be happier.  It feels so great to shop for size small tops and size 4 and 6 jeans.  

If you would like more information about this highly successful weight loss, healthy eating program, contact me at CINChomefront @ Gmail.com.   Or, you can visit my site at www.Omnitrition.com/ErinH to order.  I highly recommend contacting me directly, though, so I can add you to the facebook support page, which is very helpful, and so that I can give you direct advice. 

Happy dropping!

Teach Your Toddler To Drive

It feels like yesterday my oldest son, Zack, was a five year old kindergartener and I was busy taking care of him and his two younger brothers. Now, seemingly suddenly, he is nearly 16 years old and the youngest of his three younger brothers is now in kindergarten.

Monday night, Zack, Horatio and I attended a mandatory driver education lesson for parents and kids. The issue that was most stressed during the lesson is that parents are the biggest influence on teen driving habits. I believe this theory 100%. It's like everything else we do as parents. We have to model the behavior we want to see in our kids. It's as simple as having good eating habits, not yelling and losing our temper when we get upset, and making our bed when we get up in the morning. If we want our kids to have positive behaviors, we have to show them how to do it.

As our kids get older, the modeling we did when they were younger, good or bad, will become evident. The thing is, you can't model bad behavior and then suddenly tell your child: toddler or teen, to do as you say and not as you do. Our kids are watching our every move. We are their biggest influence. We can't drink to excess in front of our kids and then expect them to listen when we tell them alcohol and drugs are bad for them, just like we can't practice poor driving habits and expect them to follow the rules. We have to start when our kids are small. It's hard to imagine the adorable two year old as a teenager, but it happens before you know it.

At Monday's driver's education class, the teacher and school police officer both stressed the terrible influences of distractions on drivers, especially young drivers. Among the most dangerous distractions, is a cell phone. Drivers talking on the phone are four times more likely to crash and drivers texting are 23 times more likely to crash! Driving while talking is equivalent to driving while intoxicated. It doesn't feel like we are distracted by talking on a cell phone, but studies have proven otherwise. If a call is important enough to take, it's important enough to pull off of the road to take it.

It is easy to spot the drivers who are talking or texting. They are slowing down and speeding up erratically, they are weaving over the lane boundaries, making sudden stops and missing their highway exits. See this video of a study showing how truly distracting the phone can be. 

The evidence is clear. Turn your cell phones off in the car. Parents can download apps to disable their children's phones in moving cars: www.otterapp.com and www.getizup.com are two good ones.

Texting and driving is severely disabling to a driver. Texting takes the eyes off of the road for 30 seconds, or more, at times, during which a car can travel hundreds of feet, basically making the speeding car driverless!

Please watch this moving video about the real life effects of texting and driving.

Do not let yourself or loved ones be affected by tragedies like these.

A Start teaching your toddlers/elementary schoolers/all children safe driving habits now. It's not too late!

16 January 2014

The Act of Giving Selflessly

To see the act of giving selflessly, one need only look at Lois Pope. After a lifetime of philanthropic efforts, devoting her time, energy, and financial resources to a host of admirable causes, her most recent focus has been on the disabled veterans of America. Recognizing the need to provide recognition for those who have been injured while serving their country, she became co-founder of the LIFE Memorial Foundation. Thanks to her tireless dedication, she has been instrumental in the erection of a Memorial that highlights the service of living veterans who have been disabled through the traumas incurred by war. This Memorial will be completed in thanks for their service and sacrifice, a reminder to every American about the price that has been paid for our personal freedoms. The Memorial is a tribute to all disabled veterans throughout our nation's history as well and any to come.

Ms. Pope has actually given a substantial amount of money, nearing $10 million, to see the Memorial come to fruition, a small gesture when one looks at the big picture of living disabled veterans today that have amounted to a staggering statistic of three million. The Memorial will be a permanent fixture in Washington D.C. and a symbol of great pride for anyone who has taken up the flag of the United States of America only to face injuries that may linger for a lifetime.

A History of Generosity
A look back over the years proves that Ms. Pope has not been idle, exhibiting the true spirit of giving in many ways. Her interest in disabilities can be seen nearly twenty years ago, when she made a generous donation in the impressive amount of $10 million to establish the LIFE Center in her name at the University of Miami. The main goal of this center is to perform groundbreaking research in order to discover a cure for all forms of paralysis. In recent years, Ms. Pope has also demonstrated an interest in the promising field of stem cell research, donating additional funding to this admirable cause as well.

In addition to monetary donations, Ms. Pope has given the gift of her time by serving on various boards to offer her insights and support. From the Colin Powel Center to Florida Atlantic University, she has played a key role in important decision-making. Not content to rest on her laurels, she has also made charitable donations on a global level, looking beyond American soil in order to have a positive impact on the world. Israel has received ambulances thanks to Ms. Pope's efforts and hundreds of thousands of dollars have made their way to women in Sudan by way of the Genocide Response Team.

President G.W. Bush held Ms. Pope in the highest esteem, proving his admiration by granting her the Daily Point of Light Award. She is a shining example of how one person can have such a positive influence on so many, using the advantages of her social position to improve the lives of others.

13 October 2013

My Omni Journey Part 12

This has been a great week. The weight loss numbers are still on the slow side for Omni, but they are steady and today I had a big one: -.8 pound, which put me at exactly 30 pounds down from my July starting weight!  I am so happy!

Yesterday was also a great day. I only lost .2 pound but I went shopping and bought size 8 trousers and a size 6 dress. I'm very certain that the size 6 was vanity sizing but it still was a thrill.

I am more confident now and feel great.

The past two days have been hard, hunger wise, but I only have about ten more days so I am motivated to stick to it.   I added a new Omni product to my daily protocol and it helps a lot with cravings. Garcinia Cambogia is from a fruit of the same name and reduces appetite and cravings and can boost serotonin levels. I highly recommend it.

01 October 2013

My Omni Journey Part 11

The scale hasn't been moving much over the past week, and it has actually gone up a bit.  I've been feeling a bit frustrated since I'm doing the work and not seeing the numbers on the scale drop. 

Everyone says that when the scale stalls the inches begin to fall but my waist didn't seem to be changing much, so I was doubly frustrated, until I decided to measure my arms.  My arms are my sensitive area.  I hate them.  I've always been self conscious of them and they didn't really shrink during my first Omni round. Lo and Behold...  I lost two inches in each arm!  What a great feeling.

Then, I tried on a dress I'd ordered from Kohls and the medium was too big!  I ordered it and some others in size small and they fit!  Omni works.  I'm definitely not small yet, but I'm on my way.

If you are interested in joining me on this great journey, email me and I can send you great information to read so you can decide for yourself if it's for you.

CINChomefront (@) gmail. com

24 September 2013

My Omni Journey Part 10

Sticking to the protocol is easier now that I passed my cheat day.  I know how far it can set me back, so I just don't do it. 

Now I am trying to retrain my brain to not want treats all the time.  Yesterday I made cookies for the boys and they smelled SO good.  I wasn't really tempted to eat one but I know once I finish the diet, if I don't change my way of thinking, I'll go right back to my old ways.  SO, I decided to try to trick my brain.  It may sound a little crazy, but I'm willing to try anything.  As I handed the double chocolate chip cookie, right out of the oven, to Bob, I thought to myself, 'it's not good for me, it's not good to eat, if you eat it I'll feel gross.'  I'll try doing this regularly with sweet treats and see if it gets me anywhere. 

The main thing I think I can learn while on the Omni protocol is to eat to live, rather than live to eat. 

Yesterday I was down .4 and today I was down 1.2!  I've lost 13.4 pounds in 15 days. 

I tried on all of my winter pants and skirts that I had made right before we moved back to the US from China and they were all too big, by a lot!  It made me really happy, but also a little sad to think that I'd gotten that big. 

Moving on...

I feel healthier and more comfortable in my skin and can't wait to keep seeing the numbers on the scale drop.

Total for 59 days on protocol: 28 pounds!

22 September 2013

My Omni Journey Part 9

Yesterday was not an easy day to stick to the Omni protocol but I did. I keep telling myself that being thinner lasts longer and is worth more than the taste of any sweet or salty treat. I didn't lose any weight overnight but I'm guessing it's a stall during which I'll lose inches. We will see tomorrow, when it will be two weeks since I stated the protocol of the low calorie diet... Time to measure inches lost!

21 September 2013

My Omni Journey Part 8

I knew I'd have a loss today. I could tell from how well I was feeling yesterday. I woke up to a .8 pound loss!

Today I can pull down the jeans I just finally got on after round 1 without unsnapping them!

My friends are starting to notice and mention my weight loss.

I think I'll try on older jeans tomorrow. I'm down 27 pounds so far and I started July 6,

I've been modifying my eating habits, to some extent, and working out regularly for two years and barely managed an up and down weight loss of ten pounds. Omni changed everything for me.

20 September 2013

My Omni Journey Part 7

I'm still paying for the cheat day I had two days ago.  I'm the same weight today as I was yesterday.  I would love to think it's a stall, where the body catches up with the pounds lost and you lose inches, but I'm pretty sure my small cheat caused a stall in weight loss.

The philosophy that is keeping me motivated now, when I get the urge to cheat, is:

Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.

I hold no illusions that I'll be skinny, my body isn't made that way, but I'm looking forward to my personal version of skinny.

19 September 2013

My Omni Journey Part 6

Yesterday was a tough day.  I'm under a lot of stress lately, because we just learned we are moving overseas next year. 

So, sadly, I gave into the temptation to cheat and did.  I ate two cookies, some Chex Mix.  I felt bad about it as soon as I'd done it but enjoyed it while I did.  These are very hard habits to break. 

I paid for the cheat this morning when I was one pound UP on the scale.  The science is clear.  DO NOT CHEAT.  It's frustrating to cause a gain in one day since days on the protocol sometimes feel long.  It's a good reminder though, and I feel newly motivated to stay on track.  6 weeks on the low calorie diet is not long, in the grand scheme of things.  I can do it. 

On the positive front, the Lucky Jeans I bought at the end of my first round now slip off without being unsnapped!  I have to buy new jeans, but will wait until the end of this round unless they really start to look terrible.  The shopping is fun!

17 September 2013

My Omni Journey Part 5

I was pretty hungry yesterday but I stuck with the protocol.

The difference in being hungry and on a low calorie diet while using the Omni products is that I'm hungry with a bit of tummy rumbling, but there's not real empty feeling and no feeling nauseated from being hungry, no matter how hungry.  In my 7 weeks of the low calorie diet, I've never felt sick from being hungry.

I actually feel more energetic and healthy every day. 

Today I woke up to a .8 pound drop.  I've dropped 10.6 pounds in 8 days!  10 more pounds to my first goal.

16 September 2013

My Omni Journey Part 4

I've lost all my loading weight and then some. In 6 days I've lost 9 pounds. The least amount I've lost in a day is .4 pound.

Last night I had to put away a candy bar that one of the boys decided he didn't want. I cut off the part he had bitten. I wanted to eat that 1 inch section of the candy so much. I held it in my hand. I stared at it... I'm not exaggerating. It was probably only 30 seconds but in the life of a woman on the very low calorie diet, it felt like an eternity until I did an about face and dropped it into the trash bin.

Victory. No cheating!  The taste of success beats the taste of candy. Down half of a pound on the scale this morning and 3 inches off my waist in one week!

It's not easy, for sure, but it is different than anything else I've tried. I never feel sick from being hungry while using the drops. I don't get 'hangry' (hunger grouchiness.).

The results keep me on track and I can't wait to see what the next 39 days brings.

10 September 2013

My Omni Journey Part 3

I gained 7 pounds during the Phase 1 loading days.  This is definitely a hard pill to swallow considering how hard I worked to take that weight off, but I know it is part of the process.  The better you load up on fats during the two loading days, the more successful you are at taking off the pounds and inches.

This morning, for instance, I was happy to see that I've already lost 3 of those pounds.  Yesterday was day 0.  I'm not going to lie, it was hard.  I wanted to snack but kept to the protocol and was happy to see the results this morning.

I am a vegetarian so am following the vegetarian protocol.  If you eat meat, anywhere you see a meatless protein, you'd subsitute 4 ounces of lean chicken, beef or fish.

Here is how my day went:  (You should know that the only approved vegetable I had on hand was cucumbers, that is why I had them twice.  Preparation is the key, so I goofed.)

Omni Charge, Extra Enhancers and Fiber n More

Coffee with 1 TBSP milk and sweet leaf stevia drops.
Smoothie made with 8 frozen strawberries, water, ice 1 ounce of Omni IV vitamins and stevia

Mid day:
Whey protein powder shaken with water, and cucumber sliced with apple cider vinegar and sea salt

Extra Enhancers and Fiber n More, wait 30 minutes
Wasa cracker

1 hard boiled egg and 2 hard boiled egg whites, cucumbers sliced with apple cider vinegar and garlic powder

1 sliced apple, baked with cinnamon, crushed wasa cracker and stevia in the raw.

Omni Nite Lite (Helps continue the weight loss, shrinking process over night)

Today I will shop for veggies!

08 September 2013

My Omni Journey Part 2

I started Round 2, Phase 1 yesterday.  The point of Phase 1 is to load up on healthy fats.  One is supposed to stay full all day for two days.  This time around, in my second round of the program, it has been much more difficult to keep eating higher fat foods.  I realize how much I've changed since I first started Omni.  It really does change the way you look at and "use" food. 

I do enjoy the ice cream and guacamole I can indulge in during these two days but I am very eager to get on with Phase 2 on Monday.

02 September 2013

My Omni Journey 1

A few months ago I started noticing a dear friend of mine posting facebook messages about weight loss and getting healthy.  I've been working out and eating better for over a year now and only lost 10 pounds, so when I started seeing her messages I looked up Omni, the program she mentioned. Omni, is an eating protocol which uses hcg, the pregnancy hormone.  The first thing I noticed was that the articles that came up when I googled 'Omni' and 'hcg diet,' made it seem like a starvation diet.  I even exclaimed aloud to Horatio, "Of course she's losing weight!  She's eating only 500 calories per day!"  I thought I could never do it because I'd be too grouchy and feel too sick from hunger.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

A few weeks later, Jackie posted her before and after photos and she looks fantastic.  Her photos encouraged me to do further research on Omni.

That is where my journey begins...

Here are Jackie's before and after pictures:

Jackie is a real person and she really did get healthy using the Omni plan.  I've known her for 16 years.  We met before my oldest son, Zack, was born and I was with her when her first child was born when we both lived in Hawaii.  We've been through a lot together, so I know I can trust her.

Further research led me to Dr. Oz.  It turns out that he was initially skeptical about the safety of the diet but recently came see that it is a safe and effective way to lose weight and get healthy.  See video of him here.

I fully researched the program and came to the same conclusion as Dr. Oz and decided to give it a try.  I ordered my products through Jackie, who had become such a strong believer in the program that she is now a distributor of the products.

The science behind the program is complicated, but simply put:

When a woman is pregnant, her body produces the hcg (human chorionic gonadotropin) hormone.  The hormone makes it certain that her body will support the baby growing inside her, no matter how little she eats.  During pregnancy, the body will use its abnormal fat stores to feed the baby if too few calories are consumed by the mother.  Dr. A.T.W. Simeons came up with the theory that hcg, when consumed in small doses, would cause an overweight person's body to do the same as a pregnant woman's body.  He came up with a nutritional protocol, which, when followed and accompanied by homeopathic hcg drops, helps overweight men and women lose weight quickly and efficiently.  

On July 2nd, I started my Omni journey.  I bought my Omni products through Jackie, but quickly decided that the program is so great I wanted to be a part of the company as well.  

The program is a three phase process.  During Phase 1, the first two days on the Omni hcg drops, one eats foods high in fat in order to give the body's process a boost.  After the first two days, the second phase starts.  Phase 2 consists of the very low calorie diet and lasts 21-45 days.  During this phase, most people lose one half to one pound per day, on average.  The pounds and inches really do seem to melt away during the process.  Morning weigh ins bring smiles and feelings of success as the numbers drop.  When numbers don't drop, usually the body is pausing to lose actual inches.  

It is important to stop the hcg drops after 45 days in order to be sure your body does not become immune to the hcg.  The third phase is a maintenance phase during which you reset your metabolic rate to your body's current weight.  After 21 days on phase 3, one can go onto a life maintenance or start over with Phase 1.  That's where I am now.

I lost 20 pounds (7 inches in my waist) during my first 45 day round of phase 2.  As a fish eating vegetarian, my diet consisted of 4 ounces of white fish as my protein and 4 ounces of approved vegetables for lunch and dinner.  Non vegetarians eat lean beef, chicken or fish along with the vegetables.  The protocol also includes fruits, vitamins and optional crackers.  The program really does teach losers how to eat to live, rather than live to eat.

Here are my before and after pictures: 

 I can't say it was easy but it was easier than I would have thought it would be.  The hcg keeps weight losers from being too hungry.  The harder part is breaking the bad eating habits.

I am going to write about the second round of my weight loss journey because I believe so strongly in the program and I know I will be successful.  I don't make a habit of talking about such personal physical things, but if I can help anyone else feel healthier like I do, I want to do that.  I am starting Phase 1 of my second round on Saturday, so stay tuned!  

If you are interested in going on the journey with me, email me at CINChomefront (@) gmail . com and I will get you more detailed information.

Scholarships for Military Dependents

A Texas Program for Veterans

Veterans who are returning home to Texas are in for a lot of luck. Recently, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) announced that they awarding over $1 million to financially support the College Credit For Heroes workforce development grant at over nine different colleges and universities throughout Texas. This workforce development grant, launched in 2011, was created to help translate the skills and knowledge of military servicemen and servicewomen into college course credit. This is done to allow easy transition into the workforce.

Texas Governor Rick Perry believes that expanding this program will help returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan find ease when looking for jobs. Expanding this program allows servicemen to quickly obtain degrees and certifications that make them easily employable after leaving the military. Transitioning from civilian life after spending years away from home can be rough for some. However, programs like College Credit for Heroes creates sustainable workforce re-entry pathways for those who are serving the country overseas.

Central Texas College has played an integral role in expanding the program. They developed the College Credit for Heroes web portal, CollegeCreditforHeroes.org; a site that allows veterans to connect with variety of partner higher education institutions in Texas. Texas is home to over 400,000 Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans and they have the experience and skill-set necessary to readily enter the workforce. Programs like this give veterans the opportunity to connect with employers immediately after leaving service and start a new civilian life.

Whether or not you are a Texas resident - there are other resources you should consider after returning home from overseas. For starters, the US Department of Education is a great resource to scour in order to look for scholarships, fellowships and other funding opportunities to go back to school. There is even the possibility to find a
scholarship for military dependents. If are a serviceman or servicewoman with teenagers on the verge of going to college; there are funding opportunities available through various nonprofit agencies that provide transition counseling services to veterans and their families.

Also, the Obama Administration has taken great steps to reduce student debt, especially for those who have served in the armed forces. Veterans have the opportunity to seek student loan forgiveness for pursuing careers in the military and other nonprofit organizations. Also, veterans should look into state-based scholarship programs. States like New York and Illinois provide education assistance to veterans and their families.

28 January 2013

Valentine Pretzel, Hersheys Kiss, M&M treats

 This is a fun activity to do on a cold or rainy day.  Colors can be modified for any holiday.  Kids of practically every age can get involved in making this fun treat.

These treats are salty and sweet and make delicious and cute Valentine treats to share and enjoy. Enlist the help of your kids.

What you'll need

  • Bite-size, knot pretzels (they look a bit like hearts)
  • Hershey's Kisses (you choose your favorite type)
  • M&M's candy (valentines colors or other to suit the season)

How to make magic happen

  1. Heat the oven to 200 F. Set bite-size, twisted knot pretzels (one for each treat) in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment paper, then top each pretzel with an unwrapped Hershey's Kiss.
  2. Bake for 4 to 6 minutes until the chocolate looks shiny but retains its shape.  Kisses will feel soft when touched with a wooden spoon. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and quickly press an M&M's candy into the center of each Kiss.
  3. Allow the treats to cool for a few minutes, then place them in the refrigerator to set, about 15 minutes. Enjoy and Share!

    We made half with classic milk chocolate kisses and milk chocolate M&Ms and half with dark chocolate kisses and dark chocolate M&Ms. 100% Delicious!

04 January 2013

Parenting is the Problem

Here's my take on how we can prevent future mass tragedies like the one at Sandy Hook.  It's all about parenting practices, reinforced with responsible gun ownership.

Read all about it on Yahoo: Parenting is the Problem