#sandwellsecrets

I’ve been warned not to make this post.

That it’s tempting fate, and we will cursed with terrible illness if I post. Blah blah.

But for me this is the real real. This nugget turns 3 today.

In those 3 years we have had -1- sick visit to the pediatrician. (Hand-foot-mouth, which is a virus) Which means he’s never had an ear infection (not one) never had one single round of antibiotics. No weirdo rashes, no stomach bugs. Despite 1000’s of trips to playgrounds, Itty Bitty City

and play dates.

Sure he gets an occasional cold here and there but no real sickness. want to know the secret?

Probiotics.

Even before Plexus I took probiotics while I was pregnant. I took probiotics while I breast fed him. And now they are in his children’s multivitamin.

Why? Because 70-80% of your immune system is in your gut. Gut health is pretty simple (you weed, seed and feed. Weed out the bad bacteria seed it with good bacteria and then feed the good bacteria) That’s what Plexus does. That’s what brought me to Plexus and what kept me with Plexus.

To me it’s like sunblock, It just makes sense. We know the germs are out there, so why wouldn’t I strengthen my immune system as much as I can before I go out there. And I sure as HECK am going to arm my kiddos the best I can.

Let me be clear. I don’t believe it’s an invincibility cloak, he’s going to get sick. We all are. But if we can strengthen our chances of staying well I’m for it.

My twin girls are nearly 5 months. Born a month early. 4 lbs each. -0- antibiotics so far. Not to mention we made 22 trips (yes I counted.) to various Dr’s offices during their first 3 months alive. (They were 5 weeks early and therefore needed to be poked and prodded an examined from every angle from blood tests to hearing tests to physical therapy and everything in between.)

22 Days we were sitting In waiting rooms for various check ups sitting with sick people and no one got sick. It’s pretty impressive.

I know now that I’m clicking “publish” we will no doubt all get the flu tomorrow. But you know what I know even if we do it won’t be long lasting bc we put the good stuff in there to fight the good fight for us.

I believe in these products with my whole heart. If you have a kiddo with a weak immune system or one who’s had a few rounds of antibiotics and want to help build his immunity back up. This product is amazing. All my kids will take it.

If you have questions about this product, or probiotics in general for kids or for adults. I’ve done a lot of research on the topic and I’d be happy to help you search for your own answers. Just msg me ❀️

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5 Things.

This morning I was listening to a podcast. It was all about the New Year and resolutions and intentions. I thought about all the years and all the intentions I set. Then I thought about moments of actual change.

Different then setting a goal. But a life defining event that left me different after. Just as clearly as if the path I was walking took an abrupt turn.

The seasons in life that can’t be unseen, or unlearned. And now you see life through a different lens forever.

I thought of 5.

1.Going to China. I was 20 when I went to China. I had never flown in a plane before and I landed in a foreign land with people I didn’t know well to spend a season of time. It was scary. I got lost. I didn’t speak the language. There was a SARS epidemic going on so a government official took my temperature before I could exit any form of public transportation. The bathrooms were weird and the food was odd. It stretched me. I was forced to see that millions and millions of people lived completely different kinds of lives then me. Felt pride and shame for different things then I did. Had different morals and manners and Gods. Going to China changed me. It made me feel like a much smaller piece of the world. What was seen couldn’t be unseen.

2. Becoming a parent. To be real. -I wasn’t happy when I saw the test results. I was afraid. I had set something in motion that wouldn’t be stopped. What if I failed. What if I broken him. What if he broke me. What if it broke my marriage? -what if I wasn’t enough. Bringing Jackson into the world gave me more confidence that I could do hard things then anything I’d ever done. Being completely responsible for a human life was harder and more challenging and more physical then anything I had ever attempted. Becoming a parent changed me. It does break you. And it binds you.

3. Loosing Warren. Rob has often said there is a version of he and I still sitting in that room where we found out. That version of us that walked in never walked out. Life would never ever be the same. The hurt will never ever go away. The world has a missing part. And it will never feel whole again. That there is a string that attaches us to that moment in time and each day and year that passes the string pulls at us a little tighter. We are the walking wounded. Only no one can see our wounds. This hurt is a part of us we will carry forever. It doesn’t make us stronger. But it changes our understanding of what a human can survive. Loosing Warren changed me. It gave me confidence of the level of pain that will not kill me. Its hard, and it’s sad. But it’s not without value.

4. Having Twins. This brought adulting to a new level. Realizing that no matter how hard it gets (the pregnancy, the delivery, the second delivery, being mom, and things like being someone’s emergency contact for the rest of my life) there isn’t anyone I can “tag in” no one can go through it for me. No one can do the hard work but me, and no matter how much “hard work” I put into today. It will never lighten tomorrow’s load. They will still need me to “mom” everyday for the rest of their lives in all of the forms that will take. Having twins changed my sense of purpose. Of who I wanted to be as a person bc little eyes were learning “how to person” by watching me. -so don’t whine about it. Do hard things.

5. Health scare. I had a few surgeries this year. But the real scare was my Post-partum preeclampsia. In the moment laying in a hospital bed with a specialist team trying and trying and failing to start an IV with my two 4 lb babies sleeping nearby. With Rob looking so somber. As my blood pressure rose higher ans higher. (210/110 and held) And no one. No one looking me in the eye. No one answering my question “what’s wrong? What’s about to happen?” Just hurried whispers and nervous glances from a team of medical professionals. Then finally “we better get her downstairs, we can’t help her here”. The first time I ever thought

-I might die.-

this could be the end. My kids could grow up without me. Fear of dying changed me. There was business to attend to, there were words to be said that no one can say but me.

The thing that is resonating with me from making this list is the word “fireproof” As a parent we shield our children from the world, from the scary things, and the evil things, and even from the hard things. But as I review my list (I realize I have lived a very privileged life) but also, life comes with scary and evil hard, right along with the wonders, and virtues and good. I’m reminding myself that life isn’t about shielding them from the fire. But teaching them how to survive it. “That the eels will not get you at this time” πŸ˜‰no one does the hard things for you. The only way out is through. And the strength and pride you will find in yourself from surviving will make you so much more seasoned for the next curve in the path. So when your forced to stretch and grow.. -Lean in.

So you got an Instapot, now what?

Well.. actually I got a crockpot multicooker.

But it’s basically the same appliance. I asked for it for Christmas and I thought I would be pumped to use it. But I found myself avoiding it.

What if I just burn everything into a shriveled oblivion??πŸ”₯

What if it exploded?!? πŸ’₯

Finally I decided that hard things don’t get easier by ignoring them and I should just get in there and start tinkering.

The first thing I realized is that I threw away the manual with the wrapping paper.

Score.

So I turned to a Fb instapot help group where everyone was talking about “the water test”

-apparently some crucial thing you’re supposed to do before you cook in it. I searched for it on YouTube and found that yes it tests the safety seal of the product but mostly it’s purpose it get you aquatinted with the matchine and not be afraid you’re going to melt your face off when you release the pressure. (I tried it. what the heck?)

That boosted my confidence enough to start searching Pinterest for recipes. I read sooo many, and in classic Christy (“I’ll do what I want!”) fashion I just decided to go my own way. I like to cook my throwing in what sounds good to me not by following recipes. So I gathered up what I could find for a curry.

(The la croix is just for drinking not for curry haha) *not pictured a red onion and cumin)

Cubed up the chicken and diced the peppers and onion (that’s a pablano and a Jalepeno)

SautΓ©ed garlic and coconut oil (I didn’t measure but maybe 3 tbsp coconut and 2 tsp garlic) added the chicken for a few minutes then peppers and onion until they cooked down added all the liquids and spices (tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken stock concentrate and milk) stirred it up and decided to cook it on low pressure for 5 min. Smelled great cooked well but was way to watery. The recipes I read said you need extra moisture when you pressure cook but I think I over did it. So I left the lid off and let it sautΓ©ed for another 20 to thicken.

I know I’m new at this but that’s my only beef with it so far. It seems like it works great but I’m just not convinced it will save me time over just cooking this on a stew pot on the stove. Maybe it’s just Bc I’m new and haven’t got it fine tuned yet. Time will tell. But for tonight we’ve got thick spicy chicken curry and I’m excited to eat it! What are your favorite recipes?

Before and After: What Plant Based Supplements Did For Me πŸŒ±β˜ΊοΈ


I used to take several OTC medications. Just to give you an idea here is a picture of  what I used to take:

Today I took a hard look at what I WAS doing to my body. Masking symptoms and not treating the root cause. I thought all these were safe, I thought they were helping, I thought I was taking care of myself and being responsible taking these. Today I looked into what they were actually doing: (according to Web MD) 

Ib Profin- increased risk of heart attack and stroke, side effects include: heartburn, nausea, constipation, bloating, gas, diarrhea
Zantac-increased risk of heart attack and stroke, side effects include: headache, insomnia, nausea, inflammation 
Zyrtec- side effects include: drowsinesss, dry mouth upset stomach
Aspirin- increased risk of bleeding stroke. Side effects include: ulcers, abdominal pain ulcers, upset stomach, heartburn, nausea, excess bleeding

Sleeping pills- increased risk of mood changes, seizures, irregular heartbeat, side effects include: dizziness stomach problems blurred vision dry mouth.

Even with all these, I still didn’t sleep well. I still had mild allergy symptoms. I got sick often especially stomach bugs and sinus infections. I also had a lot of stress related anxiety, brain fog, low energy, and moodiness. 

I took a risk based on a friends recommendation and decided to try Plexus. Here is what I take now:

This is the Plexus TriPlex + multivitamin 
🌱Plant Based

🌱 non GMO 

🌱 formulated for better absorption 

πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰NO side effects πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

When I focused on healing my gut, I realized it was the thread that connected so many of my issues. It didn’t happen overnight it takes timeto heal broken systems. The first thing I noticed was I was sleeping better, no need for sleep aides. Then I noticed less pain and inflammation. No need for IB Profin, no swelling. That was HUGE I had taken IB Profin every day. 

I started craving more water and my blood pressure regulated no need for aspirin. My digestion regulated and I didn’t have heart burn or stomach issues anymore. 

Alongside these results I noticed I woke up without my usual stuffy nose and watery eyes, so I didn’t need allergy pills. Unexpectedly I realized I was feeling less stress and anxiety. I also felt generally happier. I had much more energy and didn’t need coffee. I didn’t get sick, no sinus infections, no stomach bugs, no nasty man colds. 

When you allow your body to purge the things that don’t belong and restore it with a healthy micro-biome. You get all these benefits. 
90% of Your serotonin is produced in your gut. 80% of Your immune system is in Your gut. I made one shift, I took the risk and committed to taking these for one month. And I haven’t looked back since. 

More then that I believe everyone can benefit from these products. Message me with your questions, I am an open book I will be real with you about what I’ve learned and how I can help. 

P96 chocolate peanut butter pancakes.Β 


#proteinpacked #pancakeoftheday #breakfastlove 

Ok they are not pretty. But I blame myself for my lame pancake flipping abilities. πŸ˜‰ 

This takes about 3 minutes to make and is so good. -a friend posted the recipe but with the P96 vanilla protein powder and it looked sooo good! I was down to only the chocolate powder and thought why not? 


Mix one packet of P96, plus one egg, on tsp of baking powder and two tbsp of water. Makes two smallish pancakes or one big daddy giant one. -or one waffle. (As previously noted, I have unfortunate flipping abilities so I went for two smaller ones) 

Then I went a little nuts and added peanut butter and real maple syrup. (I know that’s a lot of sugar.. but it’s also a LOT of protein, and remember I’m eating for 3 here!) 

Here’s the stats on the protein of you’re interested: 

The end result was tasty, but I really think it would be better with the vanilla powder, so one More thing to add to my next order! 

What are your favorite ways to use protein powder? 
Want to try P96? Order yours here! 

http://shopmyplexus.com/christysandwell/ 

Tater tot casserole and family reunion :)Β 

#churchpicnicpotluck #Goodeats 


So every year the first Sunday in August is the Sandwell/Snodgrass family reunion. And maybe the most epic church picnic pot luck event of the year. πŸ˜‹ This year I had to miss out. (We’re in the home stretch of this twin pregnancy and Sunday’s are my rest day I really try to lay down for most of the day to let my body recover and recharge for the next week) -so Rob went without me. 

However I was totally in the mood for some classic pot luck casserole, so I made a quick tater tot casserole. We make a slightly spicy version but there are roughly a million versions of this casserole on Pinterest each more bubbly and cheese filled then the last. 

Here’s whatcha need:

1 lb ground beef

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

1 red onion 

Several jalapeΓ±o’s (choose how many you want) 

1 small pkg of shredded pepper jack cheese

6 tbsp of butter

2-4 tbsp flour (I’ve never measured) 

1 cup sour cream

Hot sauce of your choice

Worstershire sauce

Frozen tater tots

-preheat your oven to 425, and then set to work browning your beef. I dice the veggies while the meat browns, then I add a few splashes of hot sauce and worstershire sauce before I remove the beef from the pan. Then I add the veg with a couple tbsp’s of butter until they get soft. Then melt the rest of the butter and add the flour stir it in and then add the sour cream, and it turns into a gravy (more hot sauce if you want here) The meat gets added back in and then it all goes in a casserole dish together.

Top this mixture with pepper jack cheese and then line the top with frozen tater tots. Pop it in the oven for about 20 minutes until the tots are browned and the cheese is bubbly and I promise you’ll never bring home leftovers. 

Speaking of leftovers…


My hubby brought me home an entire plate of desserts from the reunion! (He knows it’s my favorite part ❀ ) 

Now I will for sure not be able to move for the rest of the day! 

What is your favorite potluck dish?? 

Plexus Body Cream Review

#stuffIlove #csandwellinvestigates 

Before I became a Plexus ambassador my eye was on this body cream. It just kept appearing in my Pinterest feed. I was interested in it for a few reasons:
 1. It is advertised to have a skin tightening benefit. (Currently I’m pregnant with twins and thought this could be beneficial for my skin postpartum) πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ
2. It contains Spirulina. (A supplement I already take daily bc of the many benefits it offers) but for skin it helps detoxify, tighten, and even out skin tone, treats dark circles and fights the signs of aging. πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ
3. It contains activated charcoal, which is supposed to even out skin tone and draw out impurities, as well as minimize pores and treat ache πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ
So I’ve been using it on my face after I remove my make up for about 2 weeks. (During pregnancy my face tends to get red and puffy. -Not. Cute.) here are my results: 

Left=before Right=after

These pictures don’t reflect an incredible change but there is definitely a reduction of the redness that was present in my cheeks and a real difference with tightening up around my jaw line. (Remember this is only -2- weeks of use and I’m 33 weeks pregnant so each week = weight gain, so seeing any slimming in my face is welcome!)

It’s not dramatic, but encouraging enough to keep using. -I’ve tried a lot of face creams over the years and can honestly say I’ve never seen a visible difference especially in such a small time frame. I have hope that with more time it will lighten the darker spots around my eyes. And I’m very hopeful it will help tighten the skin after babies, if I’m brave enough I will take before and after pics of that too 😬 make up free pics are bold enough for today πŸ˜‰

Overall I like this product, and would recommend it. It’s not at all greasy or heavy feeling, and a little goes a long way. Definitely seeing results already!! πŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸŽ‰
If you’d like more info or would like to order some for yourself send me a message and I will be happy to help you get started! 

Beef and broccoli #sandwellsupper


#Suppatime #Beefandbroccoli 

Sometimes you want Chinese drive through. 

But.. you’re don’t want to leave your house. 

This recipe was born out of fridge leftovers and laziness. #truth
Ok, I usually use flank steak for this but there may be better options out there, tbh I don’t really know anything about cuts of beef. 
So here’s what ya need:
Flank steak 
Grape seed oil (just my Preference) 

Minced garlic 

Soy sauce

Broccoli

Green onions

Rice/or Raman 

Chicken broth (or beef or veggie)

Cashews (optional)

Directions: 

Cut up the flank steak into thin strips
Heat a small amount of oil and maybe a teaspoon of garlic on med heat in a saucepan.

Add beef sprinkle soy sauce (sometimes I use worchester sauce) and cook until browned. (I have a small saucepan sometimes I do this in batches) 

While the steak is browning heat up chicken broth in a small pot and make your rice or Raman according to package directions (rice is naturally gluten free, but I prefer good old Raman in this dish, but, -toss that msg sodium filled “flavor packet” directly in the trash) 
Once the meat is all browned, remove the meat from pan (I have a deep casserole dish we usually use for this but a bowl would work too) 
Then if the pan is dry I add more grape seed oil/ soy sauce and toss in the broccoli (toss to coat) I let it steam until it brightens in color and softens a bit. Then add it to the beef mixture. Last if your Raman is done cooking pour it all of it (chicken broth included)over the beef and broccoli and stir to mix. Top with diced green onions for extra crunch, or cashews if you’re into that. 
This is a great easy winter meal bc it’s so brothy and meaty but we have actually been eating it a lot this summer. I think bc it’s flavorful and doesn’t take much effort and a little really fills you up. -I also love any recipe that doesn’t involve turning on my oven if it’s 90+ degrees outside. 
What are your favorite Raman recipes? Anyone else making imitation Chinese take-out out there?

Sweet paleo scramble

  
I found this recipe on Pinterest, and modified it according to what I had on hand. Sometimes you just need something sweet and warm and bready. (Is bready a word? Eh)

So here’s what you need:

One mashed banana

One egg

Two egg whites

One tsp honey

Sprinkle of cinnamon 

Two tablespoons of unsweetened ground coconut

Then spray a little coconut oil in a pan over medium heat and scramble this like eggs. 

Then it’s time to junk it up.(or be a healthy person and enjoy this as is, -pfff)

I turn to this which I keep in my pantry  

 
It’s full of things that turn health food into junk food. Cacao nibs, walnuts, coconut, craisins etc. 

I choose a little bit of shredded coconut and some chunky peanut butter which melted in. Yum. This was exactly what I needed today. Enjoy!

Smashed potatoes (not mashed)Β 

  
So the other day I was cooking some fish 

(This fish to be exact) 

  
I really love the interesting flavors I find at our fish counter, this was tilapia coated with some kind of tex-mex breading, sounds weird but it was amazing. 

Anyway it needed a side dish and our pantry was sparse. I preheated the oven to 400 and I found a few red potatoes cut them into 2-3 pieces and put them in a pot of water and set to boil. I let them go until they were nearly tender enough to cut with a fork, then I pulled them out with tongs, placed them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, then smashed them with the bottom of a cup.  In a measuring cup I melted several tablespoons of butter added a healthy amount of minced garlic and cilantro leaves and poured it over top. Season with salt and pepper and popped them in the oven for 20. These went great together. Easy and filling.