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Present for 2021

The day after Christmas, my husband, daughter and I boarded a flight to Iowa to visit family for the holidays. As any mother knows, traveling with a toddler is unpredictable. I was tired from Christmas celebrations the day before, and anxious about the flight. Would Baby Shark be enough to keep my child from destroying the seat back in front of her? Had I packed enough snacks, diapers, wipes, and extra clothing? How does one tiny human require so many things? Much to my surprise, my daughter slept the entire flight. As she lay there sleeping in my arms, I reflected on all that has happened in the last year.

My heart was so full as I became acutely aware of the passage of time. The days of 2020 passed just like the days of every year before it. The calendar had no consideration for weddings and birthday parties that were forced to be cancelled. The clock didn’t stop because my family contracted COVID 19 and had to be in isolation for 10 days. Time does not stop because of a pandemic or election, or because we are struggling, or because we aren’t where we feel like we need to be physically, emotionally, or financially. 

Maybe it was the weight of the most important thing in my life there in my arms, or maybe it was the quiet of the flight, but I felt the importance of being fully present in a way that I never have before. Unlike money, time is a resource we have to spend, there is no option for saving it until you are ready. Sure, setting goals is important, and I believe it is something we should do, but let us not get so wrapped up in thinking of and hoping for the future, that we fail to live fully in our current season. We have to move past “when this is all over” to living abundantly now, because now is what we have. 

In years past, I used the last week of the year to map out my next great weight loss plan. I would find meals to prep, points to count and workouts to do. I would plan plan plan, and rarely if ever, do. This year I am reflecting, appreciating, and manifesting. I am counting my blessings, starting with that precious child in my lap. I am honoring and appreciating the fact that I am healthy and have a capable body. It may not look exactly the way I would like, but it allows me to run and play, to read and create with my child, and for that I am thankful. I am setting intentions and taking actions. I am committing to being fully present in anything life brings, because the time is going to pass regardless.

2020 was hard for all of us, individually and collectively. As we round out the year, I encourage you to reflect on all that was, and wasn’t. Acknowledge how hard it was, and the things you lost. Those things are important, they matter.  Then, reflect on all the positive things that happened. Yes, even in 2020 there are so many blessings. What lessons did this year teach you? How do you want to use those lessons as we move into the new year? Time is precious, and it goes so fast. My hope for each of us is that we can be more present in this new year. 

So as we approach the New Year, I am hopeful for all that is to come. I will celebrate and be grateful in the blessings, and grow from the challenges. I wish you all health, happiness, prosperity and the ability to be present in 2021.

Cheers!

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Fear

When was the last time you were afraid of something? I don’t mean bear chasing you in the woods fear, but afraid of something in life?


Most of us fear change because it makes us uncomfortable. We don’t like the idea of stepping outside of our routines, or our comfort zones. We don’t want to be vulnerable or open ourselves up to criticism.

My family recently moved into a new neighborhood full of other families with young children. My husband and I committed to making new friends and I was excited to connect with other moms. This all sounded great in theory but as a natural introvert, this really scared me.

I see other moms and their kids walking and playing in the neighborhood daily, there is a very active neighborhood Facebook group, yet I still hesitate to put myself out there. I could just strike up a conversation at the park, but that if the other mom’s think that’s weird? What if they are already friends and aren’t looking to expand their tribe? What if I say the wrong thing? What if we have nothing in common?

If I let the fear of rejection keep me from putting myself out there to make new friends, I will miss out on the amazing community we now call home. Not every person I meet is going to become my new bestie, but I gain confidence with each play date, and who knows, I just may find some amazing friends along the way.

If we avoid change because it makes us uncomfortable, or because the “what if’s” scare us, we miss out in the opportunity for incredible personal growth. If we are searching for a change, we are not happy where we are. Is being unhappy a better alternative to being uncomfortable and fearful of something better? What if you do reach your goals? What if being uncomfortable and pushing yourself means you end up with a life you never thought possible?

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Against the Grain

For decades we have been taught that a diet rich in heart healthy whole grains and low in saturated fat was optimal for good health. Posters of the food guide pyramid and so-called healthy plate are plastered on the walls of our schools and dictate the foods served to students across the country.


The sad reality is these government issued guidelines prioritize the pocketbooks of industrial food companies far more than the health of our children and families, yet most of us have followed these recommendations for years. The average consumer does not know the dangers of grain consumption hidden behind the heart healthy labels on these well-known products.


Grains have been touted as the foundation of a well-balanced diet. We are encouraged to build our meals around these simple carbohydrates and they are in nearly every packaged food on store shelves. In fact, the advent of grain agriculture forever changed the course of human history. Thousands of years ago, when our early ancestors began growing grains, human life expectancy decreased.

Grains, even whole grains are a major contributor to negative health outcomes in today’s modern society. It is very likely that you, or someone you know struggle with a food allergy or intolerance to gluten or other foods. These allergies are caused by increased gut permeability as a result of harmful anti-nutrients found in today’s genetically modified wheat. Consumption of these anti-nutrients weaken the lining of the gut, allowing harmful toxins to leak out into the blood stream causing a host of health issues.

Diets high in grain products are a key contributor to not only weight gain, but the development of diabetes and heart disease. Chronic consumption of grains may also be responsible for skin issues, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea and even some autoimmune diseases. Gut health is a major indicator of immune health.

If you feel like you are addicted to carbohydrates, especially processed junk food, it is not your imagination. proteins in grains bind to opioid receptors in the brain and are addictive. The processed food industry intentionally adds these ingredients to foods to keep you coming back for more. Studies show you are more likely to consume 400 extra calories per day when eating a grain rich diet.

Eliminating these addictive, toxic grains from your diet is highly beneficial for improving your health and achieving your body composition goals. Simple swaps like almond and coconut flour instead of regular flour, cauliflower rice in place of white or brown rice and spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles in traditional pasta dishes make cooking your favorite recipes easy.

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Choosing a Coach

You have spent hours scrolling Instagram and Facebook, visiting various websites and looking at #transformationtuesday photos, thinking about working with a health coach. Should you hire a plant-based coach? Keto is all the rage, maybe that is the route you should take? What about the coach who only eats fruit smoothies or shakes?

There are endless options in the world of wellness. So how do you find the coach that is right for you?

If you are like I used to be, it is scary to be brutally honest about where you are in your health journey. It’s raw, vulnerable and sometimes ugly. There may be some habits you have that are embarrassing or even painful to admit and talk about. There may be fears and anxieties or questions you have that you are not comfortable discussing with friends and family. It may be upsetting to take a hard look in the mirror and know you are not satisfied with what you see.

Though the process may seem overwhelming, a coach will guide you every step of the way. It is their honor to help you achieve your goals and to watch you grow. Into a healthy, happy confident client. There is no such thing as too late when it comes to starting a health journey.

So you decide to invest in yourself and hire a coach, Choosing the right coach is important. There are many things to consider. How do you learn best? Do you want 1:1 coaching or would you prefer the community a group program offers? Do you want to receive written materials or is audio content better for you?


Do you have dietary restrictions you want to honor? What is your lifestyle like? What are your goals? This are all important questions to ask yourself when searching for a health coach.

It is best to speak with potential coaches before committing to a program. Ask lots of questions, it really is an interview for both parties. How is there program structured? What nutrition principles do they believe in? How much communication should you expect to get from them? Do they provide a grocery list or recipes that match their plan? What are their credentials? What is the price structure?


A discovery call gives you the client and the coach the opportunity to talk about your goals, ask questions and see if there is a genuine connection. Your coach is going to be your accountability partner and teammate for the next few months, so you need to feel comfortable talking openly and honestly with them.

Hiring a coach means You are free to be 100% yourself. You can confide in your coach all the habits, challenges, Missteps and frustrations you have without fear of judgement. You have access to education, support and accountability from someone who is excited to see you succeed.

Coaching involves a financial commitment. Knowing you have invested in yourself goes a long way in keeping you accountable for your decisions. Most people will be more focused and have greater success when they are spending their hard earned money, they are less likely to throw in the towel when money is on the line.


Although coaching can be expensive, it is far cheaper than years of diabetic testing supplies, doctors’ visits and hospital bills racked up from chronic diseases that result from never making a commitment to your health.

My mission with each client I partner with is to equip you for long term optimal wellness after our time together ends. I hope to educate you so that you are confident in your knowledge of nutrition and capable of making healthy choices on your own. With knowledge comes confidence and a confident woman is unstoppable. I will support you every step of the way as you build a foundation of health for yourself and your family. I will hold you accountable when you are struggling, remind you of your goals and drive you toward success. I can’t guarantee you will lose 30 pounds, you have to do the work, but I can promise I will show up for you.

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Breaking the Chains of Chronic Dieting

How many times have you started off strong on Monday morning, determine to “do good this week” or “stick to your diet”, promising yourself this time will be different. Tuesday goes pretty well, Wednesday is a little shaky, Thursday you eat off plan at dinner and have drinks after work and by Friday night you have thrown caution to the wind, because after all it is the weekend. Sunday leaves you feeling totally defeated, hopeless and like you will never reach your goals.


You scour the internet looking for the fastest way to lose weight, or the newest diet plan promising a quick fix. You run to the grocery store to buy all the foods that said diet includes and come home and meal prep for the week. You plan your macros, count your calories, weigh and measure everything down to the gram…because this time, you really are going to do it! But maybe you have one last bowl of ice cream and decide to start fresh Monday morning.


This is a vicious cycle so many women repeat almost weekly. I have been there many, many times. I remember visiting my parents’ house and finding a notebook I had in high school where I had recorded my food intake, and every three or four days I had written “you did bad today, will start over tomorrow.”


A decade later I was still repeating the same behavior.

The only way to break this constant cycle of failed diets and the disappointment, hopelessness and obsession that follows is to STOP dieting. It does not work. That was a hard pill to swallow for me because I was desperate to see a change. It became part of who I was and I was afraid to let it go. Afraid that if I stopped dieting, I would loose control and ultimately gain weight.

As cliche as it sounds, you have to shift your mindset in order to achieve your goals. Short term diets may work for a season, but eventually you will be on the couch, pint of ice cream in hand, looking for another way to get the weight off. Trust me, I know. You must develop a lifestyle that works for you for the long term. That’s what it’s called LIFEstyle.

Adopting a way of eating that focuses on nutrient dense Whole Foods, prioritizing healthy fats and proteins and eliminating grains and processed foods means your body is free to function the way it was meant too. You will no longer crave the foods you once did, you will be able to burn stored fat for energy, and you no longer need to diet. There is nothing more freeing than breaking the chains of chronic, obsessive dieting.