Showing posts from 2016

January is for New Beginnings!

New Year's has always been a blessing and a curse for me. More than any other time of year, I think about my lost loved ones around New Year's Eve. I miss them and wonder what my life would be like if they were still here to share it with me. Would my father spoil my children? Would my grandparents adore my husband? Would my aunt and I still go earring shopping? The most nagging question, as I suppose it is for everyone who has lost a loved one... Would they be proud of me? Birthdays and other holidays may still have a sting even after all these years, but New Year's... that's when it hits me.

But then this amazing thing happens... We get a new beginning! Just like insurance deductibles, our slate is wiped clean and we get to start all over again! Just two weeks from today, 2016 will be behind us and we'll be staring, bright-eyed, into 2017 with all our hopes, plans, and dreams laid out in front of us.
We renew our goals in January. We make resolutions and pla…

November Deal - For Your Protection!

Autumn is my absolute favorite season! I love the colors, the chill in the air, the beginning of the holiday season, the new beginnings, and all the gatherings that start to happen! Spending quality time with friends and family helps us prolong and create traditions. We get to meet new people and learn new things about those we already know and love. Holiday parties from Halloween to New Year's give us so many opportunities to share stories, experiences, and love.

Unfortunately, all that awesome togetherness can expose us to more than good gossip. Germs abound in fall. Runny noses, coughs, sore throats, and more seem to find everyone. There are plenty of precautions we can take. Some examples are:
Wash your hands frequently with soap.Sneeze into a your elbow (or into a tissue and then wash your hands).Drink plenty of water.Stay home when you're sick.Eat healthy whole foods.Get plenty of rest. For added protection, take your Juice Plus trio every day. An extra boost of immune bo…

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One Simple Change to Fall into Fitness

Hello Autumn!!!

October Deal!!!

If you've been wanting to purchase the Juice Plus+ trio of whole-food nutrition capsules, now is a great time! As a thank you for ordering them this month, I'm offering 12 Complete Bars and 2 Complete Shakes for free with every order! For more info or to order visit Send any questions to

Except for the gelatin capsule itself, Juice Plus+ Orchard, Vineyard, and Garden Blends are completely vegan. (They're working on a vegan capsule, btw. Yay!) The whole food nutrients from 30 fruits, vegetables, and grains contained in each serving of the trio are non-GMO, gluten free, and contain no artificial colors, preservatives, starch, or additives of any kind. 

We're supposed to consume 7-13 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Most of us don't. (🙋 Guilty!) Juice Plus+ can help bridge the gap by providing the nutrients from so many more fruits and veggies than we probably even have at home, no matter how muc…

It's up to you!

We're all about the bucket lists these days. I know *kids* who are adding to or working on bucket lists. What the heck?!? Go be kids! Stop thinking about kicking the bucket! (Terminal patients are a different story. Go get it and more power to you! 💟)

Don't let "to do before I die" overshadow "to do today," by putting off your wellness goals until after you make a dent in your lifelong goals. Think of how much better you'll feel, and how much more time you'll have to check things off that bucket list, if you prioritize your health and fitness today.  What can you do? Just start. 😊

Here are some ideas if you're starting from sedentary:

1.) 10 minutes of yoga and/or Pilates each day. (Take a class or find tutorials on YouTube. Message me for more info.)

2.) If you drink soda, quit. Add some seltzer to fruit juice if you need some sweet fizz. Water is always best.

3.) Add more fresh vegetables. 7-13 servings a day is what we should be having. No…

Taking Control!

I used to aspire to be Wonder-Woman-meets-Donna-Reed. I'd give 110% to everything/everyone. As you can imagine, that gets tiring. I rode out a lot of stressful times, still doing my best. Then I got blindsided by a particularly stressful time that derailed me. 
It was as though Wonder Woman and Donna Reed bailed and left me to handle their responsibilities as well as mine. Not cool, ladies. Not. Cool. 
It didn't take long for my stress level to spike so high that I started to shut down. As I faltered, I started to focus on my shortcomings. I was battling depression on an epic scale that I hadn't experienced in years. It took hold of my very soul and slowly...agonizingly...sucked the life out of me. 
I didn't deal with it. Yes, I took medicine, but it didn't work. (I now know that it was bipolar, not depression, which is possibly why.) I could no longer see a way out. I was stuck and this was my life now and I could no longer hide it. What did I do then? I made a count…

A funny thing happened...

Good Morning!!!

For about the past two years, I've been late to work. Some days, it's because I'm taking my kids to school and that's understandable. But when they're being taken by my mom, with their dad, or out of school, I should be at my desk at 8:00 a.m. Easy... right?

It wasn't easy for a long time. It started with thoughts like, "They don't know what days I'm taking my kids to school," allowing me to take a little extra time getting ready. The better part of one of those years was spent struggling through a really rough time. I was under a LOT of stress and mornings were really busy with packing lunches, making breakfasts, getting everyone ready for work and school, and rushing around, all while trying not to make any noise. Mornings were also the only time I had to get some things done, like put away laundry, get dinner prepped and/or in the crockpot, wash dishes, etc.
When that stress subsided, I got to relax a little. It was no lo…

Feeling pretty darn good...

As I sit here, with wine, music, tiki torches, a fire pit, and amazing friends, I can't help but think that I'm in incredibly blessed. 

I'm this moment, I feel like everything is just fine. :-)

You'll have to use your imagination with that picture of the tiki torch. I was not utilizing the low light settings on my iPhone camera. :-)

Accomplishments...Even little ones are a big deal!

Today I checked a lot of things off my to-do list! You might be thinking, "So?" For me, every check is a big deal. Did I finish my whole list? No. Did I do more than I thought would? Yes. Am I bummed that I've still got things to do? Of course. Am I proud that I made progress? You bet'cha!!!

How did I do it? Firstly, my husband kept me on track. When I'd start drifting, he'd say, "What's next?" That helped me refocus and get back to the tasks I really wanted done. My garden is still a mess and I have indoor and outdoor plants that need love. But I finished 5 loads of laundry. One load was towels and I just hung them all right back up out of the dryer and one load was sheets that went right back on the bed. (Because folding is the work of the devil). Underwear and shirts were all properly put away and the pants are still in the dryer. You might still be thinking, "So?"

For me, it's very hard to complete tasks. I'm exceptional at…

The One Place I Expected Support But Hit A Big Fat Wall

There have been many times in my life when I decided it was time to get serious and lose weight. Sometimes I'd be very successful. Typically, as soon as I'd reach a milestone and start feeling pretty good about myself, I'd start to backslide. It was usually pretty simple, like someone encouraging a celebration of my weight loss success that included ice cream or cake. (Smart, I know.)
More recently, my goal shifted. Sure, I'd love to lose weight, but I'm much more interested in FEELING better than LOOKING better. I'm more interested in being healthy than trying to be thin. Being thick or curvy doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I'm more a fan of the softer looking woman than the svelte or athletic builds. That's the "ideal" to which I aspire. Someone still likes to remind me that my ideal body is way out of my league.
After my hysterectomy, I started gaining weight. One year and one gluten challenge after my surgery, I had gained 40lbs. T…

Test Results... Wait...what?!?

I finally got my test results from my endoscopy the other day. While there was inflammation, my doctor doesn't believe it to be celiac disease. As far as that goes, we're still looking at Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity. So...still stay away from the stuff.
NCGS means that your body still suffers from gluten exposure the same way that someone with celiac does, it's just not an autoimmune response. So yay and boo at the same time.

But here's the fun thing...I'm lactose intolerant. My doctor advised me to follow a very strict lactose free diet until my appointment in June when we'll discuss how to proceed.

What? I knew cheese didn't like me, but seriously, I figured it was something IN it. I stopped drinking regular milk a long time ago and prefer to use coconut, almond, or flax in my Juice Plus shakes. I do that mainly for fewer calories. OK, I've wondered if lactose was a problem, but I figured it wasn't...mainly because it's so random that dairy …

And yet, I'm totally healthy...

For years now, I've been tumbling through various stages of not feeling well. Seemingly unrelated symptoms have been plaguing me. Any tests I've had done have come back normal.
I spent five years dealing with ridiculously irregular, rapid-fire menstrual cycles that eventually led to a hysterectomy when no explanation could be found.
So I've been compiling all the symptoms I've been having and started to wonder if there's any way they could all be related. In no particular order:
Sinus/nasal congestionPhlegmSneezingAllergiesShortness-of-breathEczema/mini blisters on my handsGasBloatingIrregular bowel habitsFatigueInability to concentrate or focusBrain fogIrritabilityIncreased appetiteAcneNumbness/tingling in hands and feet Since I added wheat back into my diet for celiac testing, the shortness of breath, that had been gone, is back. My eczema has gotten worse and my allergies have exploded. In fact, all of these symptoms have gotten worse. I have all but l…

On the road to a diagnosis...

Many, many years ago, I was diagnosed with depression. A psychiatrist asked me a few questions, sent me for a blood test (no idea), diagnosed clinical depression, and wrote me a prescription. I had followups with her every month where I spent less than 15 minutes in her office, said I was fine, received a refill, and was sent on my way, without so much as eye contact. After about 6 months, I decided it was a waste of time and money and I just up and quit. I quit seeing the doctor and I quit taking the medicine.

Some days I truly regretted throwing away that prescription.
Some days I was so fine that the thought of taking antidepressants was laughable. Literally.

Over the years, I began to realize that the depression was probably real. Since I didn't want a similar psychiatric experience, I tried to work through my issues on my own with varying degrees of success.
Fast forward to my first postpartum experience. My doctor recognized the signs and put me back on antidepressants. They…


Some of you may have seen my ABC+ Smoothie a while back. This morning I took that idea and made something amazing!

I started with a basic ABC and added Juice Plus+ Complete Vanilla. Holy cow! It made SO much! I was full just pouring it! :-) I use a ninja blender so it does a great job of chopping fruits and veggies. You can use a food processor also. I'm not sure how it would turn out if you opted to juice the apple, beet, and carrot prior to blending. If you try it, let me know in the comments. I probably could have stuck with one scoop of Juice Plus+, but I knew I was making two meals, so I used two. I was quite full after breakfast but by lunch time I was ready for round two! Sometimes I keep my lunch shake in my lunch bag all morning. This one went right in the fridge when I got to work. I definitely recommend keeping these cold. The one I sipped on my way to work was in the path of my heater so it was starting to get warm. It still tasted great, but it was just better cold.…