Say what?

We never really know what is in store for us, do we? We never really know what the future holds.

For nearly the past two years, I have been happily – VERY happily – working at Vital Fit Club in Alexandria. I work the front desk, teach group fitness classes, personal train and apparently am the assistant manager, although to be honest, there wasn’t much for me to manage. There is a very capable manager who didn’t really need any help at all. Honestly, it was an honor just to have that title, although it truly didn’t mean much.

I love the atmosphere there. I love the people – the members, who I work for and who I work with. I love what I do. Yep, even though sometimes, I have to clean the men’s locker rooms. No job is perfect, right? But seriously, I love it.

But sometimes, opportunities come knocking at your door. Even though, you weren’t necessarily looking to invite them in. Nor, were you actively seeking them out. Opportunities can sometimes just show up, uninvited.

Let’s back up just a bit…to February of 2011. February 4th of 2011 to be exact. That was the last day I worked as a reporter for the Echo Press Newspaper. I had worked as a reporter since May of 1999. May 17, 1999 to be exact. Yes, for some reason, I remember my start and end date at the newspaper.

My decision to leave the newspaper was one of the toughest decisions I have ever made. Even though I was beginning a new adventure, there was a part of me that always regretted that decision. I loved being a reporter. I truly did. But, an opportunity came a knocking and I took it. Again, I was not actively seeking any other opportunities at the time. An opportunity just showed up and I took it. I left the paper to work as a leader for Weight Watchers. I truly loved working for Weight Watchers. It was a very rewarding job. I didn’t however love all the miles I was logging, especially in the winter. I am definitely not a fan of winter driving.

I worked for Weight Watchers until the end of December in 2014. At that time, I was already working at Vital Fit Club. I actually started working there September 2 of 2014. Again, I was presented with an opportunity and this time, I jumped at it. It was a very roundabout way of how I got the job, but the stars aligned just perfectly and as the saying goes, everything happens for a reason. I attended an event that was led by the owner of Vital, Heather Godfrey, whom I had never met before. Heather is an INCREDIBLE person and has done so much for me. I can’t even begin to thank her for helping me along the journey I have taken the past two years.

It has been an unbelievable ride.

Let’s back up to about three weeks ago. My hubby and I were talking about the newspaper, as we regularly do. Oftentimes, when I talk about the Echo Press, I talk about as if I still work there. My hubby is the news editor there so I still have an attachment. Plus, I was a reporter there for TWELVE years. And loved nearly every minute of it. Anyway, I have a connection to the Echo. Well, turns out one of the reporters quit AND most recently, the editor gave her notice. That leaves two holes to fill in the news department.

To make a kind of long story not quite so long, I was asked if I would consider coming back to the paper to help out. I think at first, it was not necessarily serious, but yet it kind of was. At any rate, I ended up talking with the publisher and within a couple of days, I was making changes to my schedule to try and fit in a few hours at the paper. The gym was willing to work with me and let me have the opportunity to work at the paper. Because of a little bit of miscommunication on my part, my hours were reduced a little more than expected at the gym. So now, I guess will be working a little more at the paper than first expected.

For my faithful class attendees, DON’T FRET, I am still teaching all of my classes. In fact, I am adding a couple more (more about that at a later date). And, I will still be keeping my personal training clients. In addition, I will still be working a few hours (about eight and half per week) at the front desk, so I won’t be completely out of the loop. I will still get to see everyone’s smiling faces.

So, now you know. Yes, I am going back to work at the Echo Press as a news reporter. Plus, I will still be working at Vital Fit Club. I’ll be working both jobs…for now.

I am excited, nervous and happy. I think I am going to have the best of both worlds! I guess it is true what they say, you never know what life has in store for you!

echo press

The Echo Press is a Forum Communications property.

There is more to my mom’s story

April 14, 2016 my mom was transferred to the Senior Care Unit at the Mille Lacs Health System in Onamia. This is a geriatric behavioral health unit. At that time, we didn’t know what was really going on. Fast forward a little and we learned that my mom was suffering from Dementia.

You can read more about what has been happening by clicking HERE and reading a post from April 26.

Initially, we didn’t visit. We were told that it would be a good idea to let my mom get settled in and let them figure out what was wrong with my mom. My sister and I did go and visit, but we didn’t actually see my mom. Instead, we talked with the social worker and the head nurse. We left feeling confident that our mom was in the right place. We got good vibes. It was hard not to see her, but honestly, I wasn’t sure how I would handle it. She wasn’t herself, so to speak. Dementia has apparently taken over her brain and there was/is little left of the mom we knew.

But, we felt good about where she was at and who was taking care of her.

mom

(This photo was taken on Mother’s Day)

Over the course of the next few weeks, I spoke with the social worker on a regular basis. I called just about every day and talked with whichever nurse was on duty that day and talked about my mom – how she was doing, if there was any improvement, etc. I even talked to my mom several times on the phone. Not that much of what we talked about made sense because of the Dementia. But we still talked. She seemed happy. The social worker was great about emailing me and the line of communication was open and good. I never felt uneasy. About anything.

Two of my brothers went to visit my mom at the end of April. They didn’t have too much to say about the visit, other than it was interesting. They felt a little uneasy, but no real “red flags” came up.

FAST FORWARD.

On Sunday, May 8 – Mother’s Day – we – my sister, Karen, and I – decided we would go and visit our mom. And this is where things get a little interesting.

I called that morning and talked to a nurse. I asked how my mom was doing and how her night was, typical of my conversations with the nursing staff. We talked for a little bit; I was told that “she’s kind of handful,” when referring to my mom’s behavior. I knew that. I apologized – this is not the first time I’ve said I am sorry. The reason I feel obligated to apologize is because my mom’s behavior is not “normal” – it is eccentric, I guess. She can be loud. She uses colorful language at times. She’s needy and demanding. Her delusions are grand and at times, a bit odd. But, this is NOT my mom. It is THE disease. I apologize because they don’t get to know the real Leona. They don’t know who my mom really is. All they deal with is the diseased version of my mom. For that, I apologize. I feel bad for them that they only see that side of her; the Dementia side.

Keep in mind, that I realize it is their job. They chose their profession. They chose to work with people who have mental disabilities. I shouldn’t apologize nor should I feel like I have to apologize, but I do. I truly feel bad that they don’t get to know the person she really was.

They don’t get to see the happy, bubbly, friendly, helpful, spunky, religioius, loving, talented, fun, charismatic, musical and all around genuine human being that she is.

mom fishing

mom and santa

mom on horse

mom and me 2

Back to the phone call. I talked with the nurse for several minutes – betwen five and 10. I finally mentioned that my sister and I were coming for a visit. Immediately, she asked, “What time?” I was taken aback by this question because we were told visiting hours were from 3:30 to 5 p.m. seven days a week. I didn’t think we had a choice. I answered back, “Around 3:30.” She replied, “Oh. Well, I should probably tell you that your mom fell last night.” I asked if she was okay, to which she replied, “Yes.” I was a little shocked that I wasn’t contacted by a staff member informing me of this information and that it wasn’t until I said we were coming for a visit that I was told about the fall.

I kind of blew it off. I told my sister about the conversation though.

Well, my sister and I arrived at the facility shortly after 3:30 p.m. What happened after that was not at all what we expected. Yesterday, Friday, May 13, my sister posted on her Facebook page about the incident. Here is her account of what happened:

“Sorry that this post is so long, but I am so pissed off right now, I hope some of you will take the time to read it. I wasn’t planning to post any of this, but I changed my mind after talking to my sister.
Last Sunday my sister and I went to visit our mom in Onamia. She has been in the behavioral health unit for awhile now. Celeste had called that morning to see how mom’s day was going, and was told that mom had fallen during the night, and was now considered a fall risk. And as such, would need assistance to walk without a wheelchair. When we got there, a large man (side note from me – I am not sure if he was a nurse or an aide) and another aide let us into the locked unit. When we told them we were there to see my mom, they exchanged looks that both Celeste and I thought were suspicious. They mentioned that mom was quite a handful, and that since she was a fall risk, they had put mats on the floor for her to lay on. When we entered her room, we found her face down on the floor, with her head on a mat. The male lifted mom into a wheelchair without using a gate belt, even though I asked him twice to use one. (side note from me – the male and another person, a woman helped my mom into the wheelchair without lifting her properly) When mom asked to use the bathroom, the aide told us that mom could walk to the bathroom herself, even though we had been told that she needed assistance. He went on to say that when she fell, they thought mom had put herself on the floor and then said she had fallen, so they thought she was faking it. After mom finished in the bathroom, Celeste and I helped mom get her pants up, and we noticed bruises. One large one on her upper thigh, one large one on her forearm, and several small ones on her upper arm that resembled finger tips. Both Celeste and I were heartbroken to have to leave her there, and the next morning I sent an email to the social worker there, demanding copies of incident reports explaining the bruises her fall and the reasons behind not using a gate belt. I also sent the pictures of the bruises. Later, I got a phone call from HR saying that they were launching a thorough investigation and that the aide (the male)  from Sunday had been suspended until the investigation was complete. I also made a report to the state, and was told by HR that they had also reported to the state. Yesterday, mom was transferred to acute care in the hospital after exhibiting symptoms of pneumonia, which was later ruled out. So today, when Celeste went to visit her, they talked to her about discharging mom back to the behavioral health side. Celeste said no, she didn’t want mom back there, so the hospital agreed to keep her until she could be discharged to the adult foster home Celeste had found for her. When Celeste went to get mom’s things from the behavioral health side, she was shocked to see the male working. The one that we were told had been suspended. So I am pissed, to say the least. We trusted the higher ups to look out for our mother, and now we feel like we weren’t even taken seriously. So I don’t feel bad at all telling people about this experience. Maybe it will open the eyes of other care givers, and maybe the state will see that this guy get suspended, or better yet, fired, until the investigation is complete.”

I am so proud of my sister for writing this. We were heartbroken and angered, to say the least. The way the male talked to us, how he treated our mom in front of us was uncalled for. He not only disrespected us, he disrespected our mom and didn’t treat her like the decent human being she is. It is not her fault how she acts. It is the disease that has taken over her brain.

At any rate, we know now that our mom is not going back there. I spoke with the social worker yesterday and the head nurse and they were both geniunely apologetic about the incident and asked if we would reconsider bringing our mom back. They feel they can help our mom. They said they have not had anything like this happen and that the senior care unit is one of the top-rated in the state. And they might be. But we, myself and my siblings, all agree that we don’t want our mom back there. We just don’t feel comfortable with it. I do have to state that we also understand that elderly people bruise easily. We get that. We understand that. But it goes beyond the bruises. It goes to treating our mother like a human being – with care, dignity and respect. I don’t think that is too much to ask. Do you?

inside left arm

back of left arm

right outer leg

NOTE: The facility is under investigation. My sister, who is a mandated reporter, reported it to the state. They are investigating.

Mandated reporters are professionals or professional’s delegate identified by law who MUST make a report if they have reason to believe that the abuse, neglect or financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult has occurred.

Did you know…

The past couple of weeks, my siblings and I went through my mom and dad’s apartment and packed up their belongings. A task I never expected to do while they are both still alive. But, as you read earlier, my dad was moved to a memory care unit at Edgewood Vista in Alexandria and my mom is currently still in the senior care mental health unit of the Mille Lacs Health Care system in Onamia. My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about a year ago and my mom was very recently diagnosed with Dementia. (Read my previous blog for more info.)

As we were going through their things, I found some old cassette tapes that my dad had saved. He was a saver, oh boy! I can’t even begin to tell you all the treasures we found. And of course, there were a lot of things we just shook our head at and thought, “What the heck did he save that for?”

tapes and player

But the tapes, oh the tapes!, I was so intrigued by them. It brought back so many childhood memories. Music has always been a HUGE part of my family life. I grew up listening to the good ol’ country tunes of Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, George Jones and so many other great country artists. When my family got together, the guitars would be brought out and we would sing and sing and sing. I was not blessed with the best voice on the planet, but, my mom and some of my siblings were. My sister, Karen, especially, has a terrific, beautiful voice. Seriously, she can sing like an angel. And two of my brothers, Alan and Mike, can both sing damn good. My mom, Karen, Mike and Alan can also all play guitar and play it well. My sister, Karen, can also play piano. My brother, Steve, and I are probably the most least musically inclined people in my family. My sister, Donna, and my brother, Charles, aren’t too bad. Donna could sing okay and Charles isn’t so bad. I think Charles actually played guitar for a little while, too.

Many moons ago, my mom and my brother, Mike, used to sing and play guitar in bars and other venues around the Minneapolis area and then when we lived in Willmar, they would play around the area as well. There used to be a bar in Raymond they always played at, too. The two of them were known as “Country Mama and the Kid” or something like that. I think Mike and Karen used to sing together as a duo, too. I know they’ve sang at weddings because they sang at two of mine! (Lol!)

Anyway, my mom was actually a great singer in her day. Actually, she was a great musician. She couldn’t read music, but she could play anything by ear. We had an organ at home and she could play it so well. Again, all by ear. She used to write songs, too. I found a notebook with several of her songs written in it. Oh, it brought back SO MANY memories. One of the songs was called, “Nashville Dream.” My mom could have made it in Nashville. Yes, I believe she was THAT good.

I don’t know the melody of this particular song, but here are the words:

nashville dream

In case you can’t read it:

nashville dream typed

In the notebook, I found about 10 songs that my mom wrote. My favorite song she ever wrote was called, “My Side of Divorce.” It’s a sad song, but has a happy ending. I loved when she sang this song. You could tell it came from the heart.

One of the tapes I was listening to was labeled “Mike + Country Mama” on one side and “My wife + son Mike” on the other side. It was written in my dad’s handwriting. And not only was my mom and my brother, Mike, singing on it, but others too. My sister, my dad, me and there were more voices, but I couldn’t make them out. It wasn’t a professional recording. The tape was recorded while sitting around at our house on 10th Street in Willmar, back in 1989. I was a junior at Willmar High School. Oh how I now long for those times. I remember so often when my family got together, that’s what we would do…have big sing-a-longs; mostly country music, but there was some other music, like songs by John Denver and Simon and Garfunkel. Oh, man, how I wish I could turn back time right now. I guess I didn’t really know how much I loved doing that until I heard it on the cassette tape. Singing to the top of our lungs, laughing, having such a good time. I miss that.

cassette tape

As I was listening to the tape, there it was, my mom singing HER song, my favorite of them all. I recorded it with my phone. I know my mom wouldn’t mind sharing this with everyone. Like I said, she used to share her talents with the world. If only she could do that now. I guess I am and I am more than happy to share my mom’s talents with all of you.

Here is the song:

my side of divorce typed

And here is a link to listen to the audio clip: https://youtu.be/MKddQUwIOM0

Press HERE if that doesn’t work.

At the end of the song, she says, “I know what I was doing when I wrote that song,” and that is where I cut it off. She said she was ironing clothes and the song just came to her. Just like that. She was talented. Very talented.

Very raw and very real…

Today is my mom’s 82nd birthday. It is the first one in my lifetime I don’t get to spend with her. And it hurts. Deeply. And yes, I am trying to write this as tears are streaming down my face.

I am an emotional person. Sometimes I hate it. Sometimes it’s as if everyone around me is so strong and has no emotions. Or, they don’t show their emotions like I do. I am transparent. I cry. ALL. THE. TIME. I honestly can’t help it. I try to be strong. I try to brave, but all of this…everything that has happened in the last couple of month…hurts. Bad. To put it bluntly, I feel as if my parents have died yet they are still here. It is an eerie feeling and one that is hard to explain.

mom and dad 1

The photo above is such a great representation of who my parents were – a happy, loving couple who were so unbelievably devoted to each other. They were the picture of true love. And now, even though they are both alive, their existence as a couple is gone. They are no longer Red and Lee. He is Red. And she is Lee. Truly, it feels like they were forced to divorce. To separate without any say in the matter. Again, I am blunt…it sucks. Big time.

People who know me know I am as raw and real as it gets. I put it all out there. I don’t hide much of anything and I don’t plan to hide what is going on with my parents. Besides crying, there are other ways I deal with my emotions – running and writing. It feels good to get my emotions and my feelings written down with words. It is soothing sometimes. It is my therapy. And running, well, what can I say about running. It is one of the best stress relievers for me. Because of everything that has, and is happening, I haven’t been able to run hardly at all. And some of my runs have been horrible, while some have been great. But that is the JOY of running. Truly.

jump for joy

This was actually after a great run and it was the first time I have worn shorts this year. I was little excited about that and a little relieved from my stress for about six miles. I tuned everything out and just focused on my run. I had to escape reality for just a little bit. And it felt good.

Back to my parents. My role models. My idols. Two people whom I love with all my heart and soul. Yes, I may have complained about them from time to time because that is what normal children do. I know my son complains about me. And maybe I complained too much. Maybe, at times, they did feel like a burden. I can’t lie. It always seemed like they needed me when I was “busy” with my life. They needed me, it seemed, at what I thought and felt were the most inopportune times. And yes, I would get annoyed. But, I was ALWAYS there for them. And I always will be. Any maybe, just maybe, I won’t get as annoyed anymore.

I know we shouldn’t have regrets in life, but looking back over the past couple of years, I maybe regret that I wasn’t there for them more or that I let it annoy me as much as I did when they needed me. Because right now, I would give anything if my “normal” mom called me and wanted me to do something for her – buy her chapstick, get my dad some apple juice, fix their computer, fix their TV, whatever. Right now, it would make my day. But that life, as I know it, is gone and done. It is over. Again, I feel like I have lost my parents. It hurts.

mom and dad 6

Those smiles could light up a room. They were and ARE loved by so many people. They have touched so many lives. Mine included.

So, what is REALLY going on with my mom and dad. Well, dad has Alzheimer’s and was diagnosed with that about a year ago and mom has Dementia. Wait, what? Aren’t they the same thing? No. They are not.

Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks, according to alz.org, the Alzheimer’s Organization.

Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Memory loss is an example and Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, according to the same website.

Check out this link for more information about Alzheimer’s. Click HERE.

Check out this link for more information about Dementia. Click HERE.

After my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I researched it a lot and I also watched the story on Glen Campbell, the country-western singer I grew up listening to. You know, he was the Rhinestone Cowboy! Click HERE for a link to the Facebook page for the movie, I”ll Be Me, which is the story of his Alzheimer’s journey. It was touching and heart-wrenching and of course I bawled my eyes out, but it was so worth watching.

With my mom, everything happened so quickly. Or so we thought. Looking back, there may have been signs and symptoms, but we didn’t see them because we were focused on my dad. We thought my mom had it all together, when in reality, she probably didn’t.

Dad’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s was easy – or easier – to accept because of who he was and still is, for the most part. Yes, he repeats the same stories over and over and over and over. Yes, he forgets things, people, places, events, etc. But he seems “normal.” He is still himself. He is still MY dad. Loving. Funny. Shy. Quiet. Meek. Mild. Yes, he has bouts of anger, but they maybe last 10 minutes. If that. And yes, there have been words that have spewed out of his mouth that I never thought I would ever hear from him. BUT, he is repeating what was said to him. I get that. I understand what is happening with my dad. I truly do. I accept it.

But with my mom, I don’t. I am struggling real hard with what is going on. I can’t wrap my head around it. It isn’t real. I joke about it what is happening. I laugh sometimes. But deep down, it is disturbing and I can’t accept what is happening. I feel as if someone has switched her with someone else. She is not herself. She is not still MY mom. And truly, it hurts. And I just want my mom back. I want the mom I used to know. I want the mom that annoys the piss out of me. I want the mom that is loving, funny, kind, gentle, friendly and so much more. I want the mom that sings, that write songs, that makes people – makes me – happy. Sadly, I know that mom is gone and that is the hard part. She disappeared so quickly.

mom and dad 4

I want these two people back. The couple who have been married for 48 years.

mom and dad 5

And I want these two people back. Who loved their family so very much.

mom and dad 3

And, I even want these two people back. The funny, goofy ones who always made others laugh and feel so very loved.

I feel so very bad for them, for both of them. My dad is confused and doesn’t know really know what is happening. He keeps repeating that mom is in a hospital three miles south of here and she’ll be back in three days. He doesn’t understand that he will probably never get to be with his wife again, the woman he catered to, the woman he devoted his life to, the woman he loved with every ounce of his being. But I guess I have to be honest, as much as that is devastating to know, it is a blessing because it would break his heart. It would destroy him to know the real truth.

He is all settled into his new home at Edgewood Vista, a home he lives with by himself. He appears to be adjusting just fine; better than I or my siblings expected. Each day I visit, he has a smile on his face and seems to be happy. And that makes my heart happy. All we want for him is to be comfortable and to be happy. And he is. I guess.

As for my mom. Well, there is so much that could be said, so many details that would make you maybe understand a little more, but she wouldn’t want everyone to know what is really happening. Like I said earlier, she is not my mom. She is someone different. She is someone who cusses and swears like a sailor (I will spare you the words, phrases and sentences that have came out of her mouth). She lives in another world. She has escaped reality. She does things and says things that are hurtful and mean. She does things and says things that are beyond bizarre. My mom is gone. Plain and simple. And I fear we won’t get her back. Not back to who she once was. As much as I and my family have joked that she is off in la-la land, it is the truth. And yes, the truth, even though it may appear funny, hurts like hell. It stabs you in your heart with a pain that won’t go away.

At this point, like I said, they have labeled her as having Dementia. We don’t know which type as of it, as there are numerous types. She is on meds including anti-psychotic and anti-depression. We feel she is being cared for, looked out for and taken care of properly. She is where she needs to be for now. We are not sure how long she will be in the senior care mental health unit of the Mille Lacs Health Care system in Onamia, but it may be awhile. We thought she was maybe ready to come home to a nursing home, but apparently not. We will know more this week.

For now, please keep my mom and dad in your thoughts and prayers. And please wish my mom a very happy birthday today. She deserves it.

Sharing my thoughts…finally!

Okay, so I guess it’s been about two months since I told you I was trying the somewhat-but-not-really new superfoods program many people are talking about. Yep, Isagenix. I have tried several of the products and I am finally taking a few minutes to share my thoughts on the system and the products I’ve tried.

isagenix

(This was the first shipment of products I received!)

Once again, I want you to keep in mind that I didn’t try the products – or system, if you will – as a “diet” program. First off, I don’t diet. I despise that word, actually. I am living a healthy lifestyle. Or, a healthier lifestyle than the one I used to live several years ago. And again, I feel I have to say this: I am a Weights Watchers gal. Through and through. I used the program. I lived the program. I was the program. It worked. FOR ME. With that being said, I will admit, I no longer track my food intake. BUT, I was a consistent tracker for damn near six years. The only time I didn’t track every thing – and I mean every single morsel – is when I was on vacation.

Anyway, I just felt the need to say that. I will also say that everyone has to find the program – the LIFESTYLE – that works for them and that they are willing to live with and do for the rest of their life. My healthy lifestyle – the one I learned by doing Weight Watchers – still works for me. Because I have upped – or increased – the exercise portion of my healthy lifestyle, I didn’t feel the need to track my food intake any more. I have stayed the exact same weight (149 pounds) – literally within two pounds (147-149 lbs) – for nearly an entire year. I would say I have this “maintenance thing” down pretty good!

Okay, so what do I think of the program?

One word? Love!

Not even kidding.

I was so apprehensive about trying the products. Truly, I was. But now that I have, I am in love. With most of them anyway. And I will tell you, there are still MANY products I have not tried.

One of my FAVORITE, favorite, favorite products is the Ionix Supreme. I drink it as a tea every single morning. I use the powder that comes in the canister. The liquid – the stuff I got in my first shipment – well, let’s just say I got through it. I choked it all down. And truthfully, by the end, I kind of didn’t mind the taste. But the powder, mixed with warm water (I use my Keurig machine for the hot water, but I add a couple of ice cubes because I don’t like anything smoldering hot. I like it lukewarm) OH MY MY! Seriously, I am in love with this stuff. I love the taste. I love the after effects. It clears my mind. It wakes me up. It gives me the boost I need in the morning. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still drink my plain black coffee, but not until after I have downed my Ionix Supreme.

Here’s a little inside information and I may be, possibly, could be speaking from experience. Let’s say on a Saturday night you have some wine and oh, maybe some beer. Maybe, by chance, you even had one too many. And let’s say you wake up in the morning and you’re not feeling completely up to snuff. I am just saying that the Ionix Supreme could maybe be called magic juice? Maybe.

Okay, seriously folks, there has been a couple of times that this has happened to me and on Sunday morning, I make my tea and I feel SO MUCH better. Unbelievably better. It’s crazy. Really, it is. But, I swear by this stuff. It takes away the foggy, grogginess and gives me that little extra bit of energy I need to get through the day.

LOVE IT. By far, hands down, my favorite product.

ionix supreme

I am also in love with Replenish – in the orange flavor. I love drinking this before, during and after exercising. I also love drinking this when I am feeling under the weather. I make it warm and it reminds me of hot Tang. Yes, I LOVE hot Tang. This is exactly like it, but it is actually good for me and not full of sugar! There are two other flavors – grape and lemon lime. I have not tried the other two because I am so in love with the orange flavor.

Replenish

I have never been a “shake” person, but I have to say, I do actually like the flavor of the Isagenix shakes – or at least the two I have tried. I have tried the “regular” IsaLean shake in vanilla and I have tried the IsaPro Whey Protein, also in vanilla. I am HUGE fan of everything vanilla and to me, both of these have great vanilla flavor. The regular shake, however, almost has a hint of cinnamon with it, which I love. There are some who really don’t like the vanilla, but I am huge fan. After a workout, I like to mix one scoop of the regular vanilla IsaLean shake with one scoop of the whey protein. Sometimes, I will add cinnamon to it for an added boost of that cinnamon flavor. I just mix the powder with about 8-10 ounces of water in a shaker cup and slam it down. I don’t do the whole blender thing because I usually do it at work. I just have a cute little container I put the powder in and bring it with me, along with my cup, to work. It is really super convenient. And, I know I am getting super good nutrition after a workout. A lot better than grabbing a Snickers candy bar, which I have done.

I have to say the one thing I love about ALL of the products is the convenience. All of them are super convenient and to be honest, I really truly love the taste. The shakes are great tasting – not gritty or anything and the bars (well, most of them) have really, really good flavor and are not “fakey” tasting. There isn’t an after taste. At least in my opinion.

And speaking of bars, two of my favorites are the Chocolate Cream Crisp and the Chocolate Decadence. Oh MY! Pure deliciousness. Again, I am not kidding you when I say I love these things! At first, the Decadence was my favorite, but now, I am so in love with the Cream Crisp. My mouth is watering right now thinking about one! YUMMY!

I will often use these as an afternoon snack more than I will a meal replacement. On Saturdays, if Al and I run mid-to-late morning, we often shower and get ready and then head to the coffee shop. I will split one with him and it’s enough to keep us going until we have supper.

cream crisp

decadence 2

Another product that is a favorite of mine is the e-shot, which is what most people call them. It’s like a healthy 5-hour Energy. I will admit, however, I am not a huge fan of the taste. Not my fav, but I use them because I like the effects, especially right before I teach a class. I have yet to have the “crash” that is typically associated with these types of products. It gives me the boost without the dreaded, awful crash. AND, I don’t get stupidly shaky and my heart doesn’t race or any of those other weird side effects that can happen with energy boosting products.

Again, not a fan of the flavor per se, but I like it enough to enjoy and reap the benefits from them. I will say, I do prefer them chilled.

eshot


So, that about does it. I am still trying new products. I will continue using the ones I love. And, if you want more information, I can hook you up with the right people. Again, I am not a consultant. I don’t ever intend to be. I am just a user and now, LOVER, of the products.

My boss at Vital Fit Club, Heather Godfrey, is hosting another Transformation Challenge. I am adding the flyer to the end of this post. Heather can help answer any questions you might have. Or, so can another friend of mine and friend of Heather’s, who helps with the challenges, Christa Thompson. Both of these ladies are EXTREMELY knowledgeable and are willing to help you with any questions you might have about Isagenix. They are definitely the ones to talk to. I can hook you up with either of these two inspiring women! Love them both so much!

The challenge starts next week, on March 14. Jump on board the transformation train. It’s time!

ignite challenge