The Delicious adventures of FINICKY FIONA

Working on Parenting without YELLING! ;-)

By January 24, 2017 Raising Kids

So this morning was an eye-opening experience for me. After having a difficult day with my kids by myself while I was sick and my husband was gone on business, I nicely asked my son to get dressed and go down for breakfast. We had just finished a lovely early morning snuggle and I fully expected him to come right downstairs.

The previous day, we had talked about him doing things when I asked nicely the first time. This is, of course, an ongoing conversation; and I generally start my requests nicely unless the shenanigans are beyond what I deem to be sane and normal. But when I asked nicely he didn’t even move. I went upstairs got down at his eye level and asked why he wasn’t coming downstairs or getting ready for school. He very sweetly told me in his seven-year-old voice that he thought when I asked nicely that it meant I was just asking him if it was something he wanted to do. “Mommy, I know you don’t mean it until you start yelling.” I have heard that from parenting classes and advisers for years, but it was the first time I was hearing it right out of my son’s mouth.

I was shocked. I explained to him very nicely that isn’t the type of mommy that I want to be. The mommy that I dreamed I would be was the one that didn’t yell at  all, that said things nicely and sweetly to him. I asked him if he could please, please hear me that I mean it when I say it nicely. He worked really hard on it all day, and by the end of the day asked me how he did. He had done really well. I decided I owed it to him to work on myself too.

So I reached out to Krista Rizzo, the owner “Why Am I Yelling?” parenting coaching. She gave me some tips that I plan to implement, see how they work, and reach back out to her later. She has more free tips on her blog and website

  1. When they ignore you say “When you’re taking to me you have my undivided attention. I expect the same from you.” This works as long as you actually do this 🙂
  1. Turn requests into non-negotiables. “I need you to help me out and pick up the pretzels off the floor.”
  1. Turn it into a game.  “You have 3 minutes to get ready. I’m timing you.” Let them see the timer.
  1. Make him excited about being the older sibling. “You’re old enough now that I think I can depend on you to be the example.”
  1. Set expectations for the day and let kids know a snippet of what your adult day looks like. Krista started doing this with her kids when they were babies. “Okay here’s what’s going to happen today. At 7:45 we are headed to school. At 8, I will be getting on a conference call with my client. I will pick you up at 2…”
  1. Start request with “can you do me a favor…” or  “This is what has to happen next…”
  1. When you do lose it, let them know, “there is a reason that you’re being spoken to in this way. I’ve asked you three times.” Apologize.
  1. Get on the same page as your partner (although mine doesn’t yell). “I’ve been struggling with yelling let’s try these tips together. Let’s have each other’s backs.” When kids ask for things, the first question each parent needs to ask is “did you ask your other parent?” And, not argue about parenting in front of the kids.

Sound tough to you? Wish me luck! What other tips and resources do you have for keeping your cool? Please let me know in the comments below.

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Finding the path to my “ideal weight”

By January 18, 2017 Food Allergies, Healthy Body, Travel

So I’m still sick and I realize that I need to do a bunch of different things to help my body heal itself. I tried specialty teas that didn’t work. One of  the things I thought to try is giving myself a New Year’s cleanse. So I went to 118 Degrees, a raw food restaurant in Tarzana. Cooked food looses nutrition and enzymes  over 118°. I tried their 1 week/21 meal cleanse. I have eaten at their raw food restaurant and liked most of what I tried- it’s beautifully done. They are not paying me to say anything about this – in fact I paid for the cleanse. I don’t love every dish, but I like most of it and love a few things. I really like the partnership of a naturopath and a chef in a restaurant and I was drawn to it. In two days I have lost 2 pounds and my friend has lost 4 pounds in 4 days. A few of my meals included things in my “please don’t add” list, but they were accommodating and offered to give me meals in the restaurant to make up for it.

I had great results with an accidental raw food cleanse that was imposed on me when I had to travel for work. I don’t know how many of you travel for work, but sometimes I have to. I was on site for three weeks at a company near me, but it was far enough away that I was on an expense account and had to eat out every day, for every meal. Luckily I found a completely healthy raw food restaurant right by my client. I ate there every day for three weeks; lost 4 pounds and that really put me back on the path of eating well and not succumbing to  my sugar cravings as much. I realize it’s hard to do in my regular life, but I made it a new rule for work travel. The other tip I got out of that experience is that if you have to travel for work, and find that work travel really gets you down, eating badly and making poor choices, make it the time that you choose healthy eating. Do what you might not do normally. Eating clean gave me the energy to be on site for this client from 5:30 in the morning to 6:30 in the evening every day. I really didn’t feel it as much as I would have if I were eating heavy meals. I know you have to go out with clients and to dinners and things like that, depending on your profession, but salads are a great option if you can put a protein on it. I really tried to make sure that there was a protein in every single meal that I had.

So now I am doing this cleanse I have lost two pounds (less than 2 kilos) in two days. My cleanse buddy has lost 4 pounds in 4 days. Just to let you know I am 5’1.5″ or a little over 1.5 m meters  meters. I’m starting this cleanse off at 115.4 pounds and that’s about 52.3 kg, which might not sound like a lot to you. And personally, the numbers don’t really matter to me as long as my clothes fit. About two years ago I was 104 pounds (47 kilos) and crept all the way up to 122, because I love sugar so much. For my body, cutting out soy, eggs, peanuts, wheat, gluten corn, sugar (more than 5 g per serving) worked really well for me. I learned this from the “Virgin Diet” and haven’t looked back Another thing that I learned from the “Diet Cure” book was to help curb my addiction to sugar it’s probably a lack of an amino acid and in my case it was L-glutamine. In the book, Julia Ross lists other cravings and what might be your specific amino acid that is lacking.  I never lost weight easier or faster than the “Virgin Diet” combined with taking L-glutamine.

Unfortunately, the second I added some of those foods back in, the weight and health issues came right back. Having that three-week raw food really help me focus and retrain my body. The other thing that I learned was that 104 pounds is probably not my ideal weight. Once I gained some weight back, my friends told me that at 104, it look like I had cancer. My husband told me that he really didn’t like me that small. I like being curvy for my size, but once I get past a certain weight it’s really uncomfortable for me and I don’t fit in clothes well. I have no judgment on anyone’s size, shape or decision about their weight. I know I feel better and I know I’m not suffering from internal inflammation when my weight is closer to 110 (50 kilos). I’m still trying to figure it out.

I’m going to work with a physical trainer for my birthday because I think it my age that’s what I need to keep my skin tight. I found that at 104 pounds, my skin got “crepey” and I was a little saggier up top; and I don’t like that either.

Everyone’s body is so different and has an ideal weight range. I don’t think there’s a formula.  I’d love to hear what helps you find your ideal body weight. Please let me know and subscribe if you would like to and let me know what you’d like to see me try next.

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Who am I and why am I writing to you?

By January 3, 2017 Crafts, Food Allergies, Gardening, General, Healthy Body, Raising Kids, Recipes, The Book, Travel, Uncategorized

Let me start my series of blogs by saying the following: my friends, family and children can tell you that I am by no means a perfect parent. I feel like I’m failing every day; trying to swim upstream; maintaining my sanity and patience; while loving, with every fiber of my soul, what it is to be a mother of two active boys.

I decided to start this blog because families would come over time and again and the parents would ask me “how do you get your kids to eat that?” Or “My kids would never eat that! How did they get that palate? It’s amazing!” Does that mean my kids eat everything? No. Does that mean we never have power struggles? Certainly not. While I haven’t been asked about my parenting skills, 🙂 I have almost always been asked about food. This happened with enough consistency, that I felt I should answer the questions to a wider audience.

This may speak to you, or it may not. Your child might have sensory issues, in which case you might need a professional to help push past some of that. One size does not fit all. Like our microbiome, solutions are unique, like us. If that is the case, please pick and choose what you like from what I say and throw out what doesn’t work for you. I can promise you that is exactly what I’ve done from a number of world-class physicians, programs, homeopaths, nutritionists, diets, blogs etc. Finicky Fiona is a carefully curated path that has taken me years to whittle down and find what works for us. We are still traveling down this road.

You may be in a space where food is just not a battle that you’re willing to fight at this moment. I get it. I’ve been there. And that’s when I expand to the other fun portions of this blog. Taking care of the earth, eating well, and taking care of yourself have so many layers. I believe that when children do a little bit of each, layer over layer, that they start to appreciate the others. So while the main focus will be food, we will explore other areas as well, like gardening, crafting, canning, ways to take care of our planet and bodies. Thank you for joining me and my family. Let’s have fun. And when it’s not fun, let’s forgive ourselves and take some “me time” (for the record “me time” includes locking yourself in the bathroom with your smart phone).

You will find this jaunt includes a YouTube channel, children’s book, tweets, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook  moments (once I find time to post it all). Find me under Finicky Fiona on all social media.

This is a journey, not a guilt trip. So, if I ever sound preachy, please know that it’s passion and certainly not my intention. 

Disclaimer: The information shared in this blog is for general purposes only and is not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease or medical conditions. I am not a licensed nutritionist, registered dietician or medical professional.

You should seek the care of your doctor before starting a new exercise routine or before changing other dietary or lifestyle habits. Only you and your doctor can determine what course of action is best for you and your particular needs.

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