Who am I?


I’ve been reading the book “Love Warrior” by Glennon Doyle. She posed a question to herself. She simply asked “who am I?  Without the work I do or the people I love, who am I?”.  

Well this threw me for a loop!  We all define ourselves by who we love and what we do!!!!  All the time!!  I’m a wife, I’m a mother, I’m a sister, I’m a friend, I’m a secretary, I’m a doctor, I’m a teacher.  I talked about this in a related blog post and I know (now) the universe was preparing me for things to come.

Try it once, right now.  When you meet someone new and you’re doing your regular introductions, imagine for a moment, what do you say to them?  Do you describe yourself in those terms I mentioned above?

It’s hard right?

I’ve described myself in the past as a wife, a mother, I have a Bachelors Degree of Science in Information Technology and I’m a Project Leader for a global company.  Well, that WHOLE thing has to be redone!  Can you believe I described myself this way for most of my adult life?

So my mission today is to write in my journal WHO I ACTUALLY AM.  Am I just a somewhat happy/introverted human being?  HA!

You should try the same!  Or better yet, tell me in the comments so I can get ideas. Bahahahaha!

Life’s a beach?

I heard this the other day: ‘The best students get the most challenges

I dunno if that’s true but I do know I’ve had a lot of challenges. I’m sure you have too. It’s part of life! Right?

☔️my second mom, my grandma, died from cancer

☔️my best friend in high school died from anorexia. I couldn’t get myself to go to the funeral because I was devastated and I felt like I let her down

☔️I grew up in a very fear based church with a lot of restrictions and purposeful isolation from outsiders

☔️left the church at 16 years old, lost most of my friends and was told I was going to hell. That wasn’t fun

☔️I got married the first time around for the wrong reasons. I was pregnant and pretty much made him do it

☔️I had 2 miscarriages

☔️I got divorced. It was ugly

☔️I numbed my feelings with alcohol and food. It was bad

☔️got laid off from my corporate job after 16 years

☔️I have had feelings (in the past) that I’d be better off dead. (Sorry mom!)

🌈 But my point in telling you all these things is not to make you feel bad for me. Or to say my problems are so bad or worse than yours (there are many people with worse problems for sure!)

🌟 It’s to say that I’m still standing after all that, still trying, growing through the challenges……I am learning all the lessons I possibly can while I’m still here! (And Hopefully) Positively impacting the world around me.

☀️ It’s never too late to decide to change your life around, make amends or help someone else!

💜

Guilt free, no sugar, no grains bagels

Yes. You heard that correctly.

If you are anything like me you love bread but you know it’s not good for you. So here’s an alternative that is going to satisfy that craving.

These are so good!  I promise. Even my husband likes them.

Here are some ways you can enjoy them:

  1. Toast them in the toaster and add some grassfed butter on top
  2. Make an egg sandwich
  3. Make a sandwich with applegate salami, lettuce, tomato

Here are the easy steps! (Makes 6 bagels)

  • Melt 2 cups mozzarella and 2 ounces of cream cheese in the microwave or with a double boiler

  • Combine 1 1/2 cups almond flour and 1 tsp baking soda

  • Whisk 2 eggs
  • Now combine all the ingredients together. Mix it while the cheese is still melted with your hands or with a mixer until everything is incorporated. You have to work fast here.

  • Separate the dough into 6 equal parts and shape them into bagels and place onto cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Sprinkle everything but the bagel seasoning on top and bake in the preheated oven at 400 degrees for 10-14 minutes. Or until they are browned.
  • Keep in the refrigerator.

Feel free to share!!!!  These are so easy and won’t take you more than 25 minutes from start to finish.

10 signs to know you have a friend for life

Friendships are so important and are even good for your health.  Sometimes we have friends that come and go throughout our lives.  That is totally normal!  But you will also have friendships that last decades.  I recently spent time with a friend who I have been friends with for almost 20 years now and it made me think about this a lot.

I read an article on Psychology Today about The Importance of Friendship that read:  As attested by that old adage, “We choose our friends, not our family,” meaning that the personal and positive nature of friendship is voluntary. We are a social species and we need that sense of “Belonging,” of feeling deeply appreciated by people we care for. Meaningful, long-term friendships are cherished.

So how do you know you have a friend for life??

  1.  You agree with the quality of their character
  2.  You both put in the work to your relationship
  3.  They are there when things are good and bad and you do the same for them
  4.  They are really, truly happy for you when you have a WIN to celebrate and want to share in your joy
  5.  You can be completely yourself with that person
  6.  You are not responsible for their happiness and wellbeing
  7.  You feel good about the relationship and it adds to your life
  8.  You trust them
  9.  They stand up for you (even in your absence)
  10.  They don’t feel threatened when you aren’t able to spend time with them

How many TRUE friendships do you have?  3?  5?  I’m curious to know, put it in the comments.

Curiosity is a Shit Starter

It’s true…….  Everyone experiences pain and periods in life when you are thrown a whole lotta challenges.  The key is how you deal with them and your mindset.

My youngest daughter has been dealing with a kid at school who really rubs her the wrong way.  She feels like she’s filled with drama and negativity.  This has been going on for quite a while now.  So it would be easy for me to advise her to just stay away from her and move on.  But instead of doing that I asked her to consider:

  1.  Have you thought that maybe she is going through a tough time at home?
  2. If she is going through a difficult time at home it might be possible that she is having trouble dealing with it and it comes out in other areas of her life.

It turns out that my assumptions were correct.  Her parents were going through a divorce.  

My daughter really gave this some thought and has been able to be empathetic towards this little girl instead of dismissive and angry.

Brene Brown talks about this in her book, Rising Strong. We sometimes make up these stories in our head about interactions with other people and jump to incorrect conclusions.  I know I have done it too!  I think being more aware and asking yourself further questions is crucial in order for inner peace, empathy, and understanding.

Brene also goes onto say that communicating what is going on in your mind with the other person could go something like this:  “The story I’m making up in my head is that you are upset with me because you were short with me when I asked you what you would like to do together this weekend.  I found myself feeling bad and unimportant to you.  Can we talk about it?”

Honestly, I didn’t want the book to end.  I was sad that I was done with it.  It is THAT good!  There are so many lessons in it that can help you and those who you come in contact with throughout your life.

I know, for me, it has helped me tremendously already.  I have implemented these strategies in my life and interactions with others.  It has greatly improved my ability to see things from a different perspective, give people some grace, and be more empathetic.

Give it a TRY!

 

5 Simple Steps That You Can Implement Today

I have heard the following excuses again and again:

  1.  I am not losing weight fast enough
  2. I have really bad cravings for junk food
  3. I hate thinking about all the things I have to do to lose weight
  4. It is too hard to lose weight
  5. I cannot stay motivated
  6. I am too busy to meal prep
  7. I am too busy to workout
  8. My family doesn’t support me
  9. I’m too lazy
  10. My family needs me so I cannot take care of myself

The truth is you cannot afford to NOT take care of yourself.

If you are taking the time to take care of yourself through food and fitness you will be happier and you will be BETTER able to take care of all of the people in your life.  And listen, it does not need to be complicated!  In fact, it will be even MORE simple.

Here are 5 steps you can take starting today to improve your health, energy and quality of life.

  1.  Start with FOOD.  This is the best place to start.  Focus on having only vegetables, healthy fats and moderate protein.  Don’t try to be sneaky and add anything else to this list like processed foods for a side dish, crackers with your cheese or eggs PLUS a donut / pastry for breakfast.  I talk about food the MOST in my online group because it is the most important.  You can exercise for 3 hours a day but if you are not watching what you are eating, you are sabotaging all your efforts and hard work.  This is so simple once you get the hang of it and you will NOT be hungry or have food cravings if you eat this way.  Here are some examples of my meals: 
  2. Beverages of choice.  You’re probably wondering what kind of beverages you should drink and what you should avoid.  Stay away from all pop (even diet), flavored drinks, juice (unless you’re juicing your own and only in moderation), fancy flavored coffee drinks from Starbucks and Caribou, muscle milk, sweetened tea, vitamin water, gatorade, crystal light, energy drinks, sparkling ICE, naked juice, koolaid, and sunny D to name a few.  Instead choose the following:  coffee (black or with nutpods or heavy whipping cream), tea (unsweetened), coconut water (check the label for no sugar added), mineral or sparkling water (unsweetened, like Perrier or La Croix), water with a couple drops of essential oils (make sure you get the best quality and use a glass cup, not plastic), fruit or herb infused water (make your own), kombucha (check the label’s list of ingredients for no sugar added), unsweetened cashew, coconut or almond milk, and regular plain old WATER.
  3. Just move.  Find an exercise you like to do and start out small.  Workout for only 10 minutes if you have to and then slowly increase up to an hour.  You don’t need to kill yourself working out for hours every day.
  4. Write down your goals.  It is simply not enough to say “I want to lose weight”.  That is not a clear enough goal as to WHY and WHAT you want.  And actually, people who start with this as their ultimate goal will usually quit.  You should be very clear and specific on this and it should be your STRONG, EMOTIONAL WHY.  Write it down, read it every day.  An example:  “I want to make whole/real food choices for every meal this week and workout for 30 minutes 6 days this week so that I can get off of my diabetes medication.  My kids need me around for a long time.”
  5. Get a buddy.  Having support will increase your chances of staying on track because you don’t want to let your buddy down!  Tell your buddy your goals and ask them to check in with you.  The majority of people cannot do this alone.  I will also include in this point that you should talk to your family about your plans so they can support you and give you the time you need in order to take care of YOU!

It doesn’t have to be complicated or boring and you don’t need to choke down nasty tasting food.  I promise!

The community that I’ve created of people that are on this exact same journey were the missing piece to the puzzle for me and many others.  If you want to join us so you are not alone you can go HERE.

I quit

“Perfectionism is a self destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought:  if I look perfect and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgement and blame.”  -Brene Brown

Life is crazy isn’t it?  We put so much pressure on ourselves…

The pressure to:

  • Be a certain way
  • To look a certain way
  • Have your house spotlessly clean
  • Have all the laundry washed, folded and put away
  • Have the kids perfectly dressed, clean, happy, well-mannered, and activity-goin’
  • To have a perfectly manicured lawn
  • Experience the most fabulous summer vacations
  • Rock it at an awesome job and still have dinner on the table at 530 PM for the family
  • Organize perfectly romantic evenings with your partner
  • Volunteer for every community service opportunity that needs your help
  • Be effortlessly happy all day, every day

The truth is we are all just doing our best.  

So I am quitting…..  Instead of focusing on all the things I have on my To-Do list and then beating the crap out of myself mentally when I haven’t gotten them all done, I am going to give myself some grace and self-compassion.  I hope you will too.

I am also going to ask myself everyday:  “Does this matter in the big picture?”  Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the little things and forget what is most important.  Spending time with people we love matters.  The dirty dishes, not so much.

Why exercising to lose weight won’t work

I’m gonna level with you. Because that is what I like to do. “Treat others how you’d like to be treated.”  Sure wished someone would’ve told me this 10 years ago. Would’ve saved me a bunch of time and suffering.

If you are trying to lose weight and you are exercising A LOT everyday (like 2 hours per day of intense fitness) with the intent of exercising to lose weight, it will not work if you don’t do this ONE thing.

The one thing is:  change the food you eat. 

Ok, yes….  I KNOW there’s other things that contribute like sleep, stress, and disease processes. However, the biggest contributing factor to your goal of losing weight is NOT just how much you exercise.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. But I’m doing it for your own good. I’m telling you this because I care.

I have had clients who have said ‘I didn’t get results fast enough’. My follow up question was: did you follow the food plan I gave you?  And the answer was ‘no, but I did all the exercise’.   (yes, exercise IS important for your wellbeing and overall health, don’t get me wrong here.)

I’m not mad about it, in fact, I completely understand.

I was in that mindset before too. I thought, I’ll just kill myself with exercise for 2 hours per day, eat a 100 calorie bagel with eggs, a smart one for lunch with diet pop, and homemade beef enchiladas for dinner. But don’t forget about the green tea that I’ve had all day long too, green tea with creamer because I certainly couldn’t drink it plain.

Needless to say, this did not work. I suffered this way for years. Many years!  Into my 30s, I was teaching high intensity group fitness classes 6 times per week and playing competitive volleyball. Still way overweight, still unhappy, still buying bigger and bigger clothes.

My goal is to help people make it a lifestyle. Not just a thing you do for a couple of weeks and then quit. 

Sometimes people think they are ready, but they are not. And that’s ok too. Everyone has to be in the right frame of mind in their own time.

Are you exhausted all the time?

There are a number of things that can happen to ZAP your energy.  You don’t feel like doing anything but laying in bed and you wish you had the energy to do a workout…  So what are the things that could be going on?

Here are 4 things to consider:

  1.  Not moving enough – Yes, you might get your 30 minute to 1 hour workout done but you might be sitting the rest of the day.  So set a timer on your phone so that you can remind yourself to get up and move around every couple of hours.  Do a few squats and lunges, jumping jacks or push ups.  No equipment is required.  Your body is your equipment.
  2. Dehydration – Water is so important.  As soon as you wake up in the morning, have a big glass of water to give your insides a good start to the day.  Skip the pop, gatorade, and sugary drinks (even orange juice).
  3. Nutrient Deficiency – Did you know that 80% of the population is deficient in Magnesium?  Get the topical Magnesium oil to rub on your skin so it absorbs transdermally.  Other deficiencies might be Vitamin C or Omega 3 fatty acids.  Leafy green vegetables, camu camu, red and green peppers, kale, spinach, kiwi, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, chia seeds, walnuts, salmon, eggs (the WHOLE egg, not just the whites).
  4. Sleep – 7-8 hours recommended, as I’m sure you have heard before.  Getting to sleep and staying asleep so your body and go in and out of the stages of sleep is critical.  Turning off electronics, getting enough sunlight during the day, having darkness at night, ensuring you are not deficient in magnesium, meditation, deep breathing exercises all can help in getting a better nights rest.

I hope this helps get you ENERGIZED!!!

 

P.S.  You should listen to The Model Health Show Podcast.  So good!

Are you gonna eat that?

3 times per day we get to express our values through food. -Michael Pollan 

Wow!!! That’s powerful, don’t you think? Your values as it applies to how the food is produced and also the value of yourself. Do you buy local fruit, vegetables and meat from farmers in your area? Are you a vegetarian or vegan?  I’m not judging you. These are just personal choices. Choices that YOU ALONE have in your power.

As a recovering food addict, this was an interesting topic to me.
Moving towards the food as fuel mindset and food freedom was not something that happened overnight for me. To be honest, I didn’t know I was a food addict when I was in the middle of it. I was just depressed, that’s all I knew.

So this process of self experimentation happened over the course of MONTHS. Why?  Because you will not and cannot see the effects of the food you put into your mouth until it creates the compound effect. Meaning, when I was obese, I worked very hard at eating a lot of bread, pizza, pasta, sugary drinks, chips, and the like. So conversely, I have to see what my body’s reaction to a different way of eating would be like over a period of weeks or months.
So what is mindful eating? When you are preparing food or out to eat at a restaurant…..

Think to yourself:

Why am I eating this?

Is it helping my body get the fuel it needs to run at its best?

Am I going to feel regretful later?

Am I eating this because I’m happy?

Am I eating this because I’m sad or depressed?

Am I bored?

I’m not saying never have treats. I’m just encouraging mindfulness eating. There are times when I will be thinking about having a crusty baguette sandwich or pizza over and over for a week and I definitely have it and it doesn’t send me spiraling out of control (anymore). These are just cravings and I can either control my mind or it can control me.

The majority (meaning 80-90 percent) of time, I stick to LCHF plus intermittent fasting. 

No one way of eating works for everyone and the only way you can figure it out is by trying different ways.

That being said….. I really believe in the benefits of a no sugar / no grains lifestyle.
I’m not claiming to be a fancy, know-it-all-expert and I’m not telling you what to do, just sharing what worked for me and the process I went through in hopes to help.

So give it a shot! Over the next week try being mindful at every meal. Pay attention to how you feel, the smells, and savor the taste. Tell me how it goes!  I want to hear back from you.