Are you Ready for Summer? Free 2 week Challenge

Designed to get you energized and ready for summer – from the inside out!

All meals are gluten-free, easy to prepare and packed with the nutrition you need to welcome all the activities summer brings.

2 weekly meal plans, grocery lists, recipes and prep guides all done for you. All you need to do is commit! Click the link above to get your free plan now!

Get Over Your Mom Guilt – lives depend on it

Guilt – more specifically, the dreaded Mom Guilt.  It’s like that annoying cellulite that exists, we know it’s there, we see it, we feel it, we cover it up, we even joke about it. But it haunts us.

Ok, so that was a bit dramatic – but seriously – mom guilt sucks. In so many ways. For now, however, I want to specifically address how mom guilt is contributing to an unhealthy future for ourselves and our families.

Mom guilt causes us to put our children, our spouse or significant other, our families and even our friends over our own selves on the priority list.  In fact, often, we don’t even make it onto the priority list at all. (Wait a minute, you’re thinking – WE are SUPPOSED to be on the priority list???).

YES – we should be on the priority list, but instead, we mom’s trudge ahead each day, each week ensuring that our kids have fulfilling lives with what we deem to be appropriate activities, carting them around to their friends’ & their events. We make sure our families eat during the week, that their clothes are clean, that everyone wakes up and makes it to their respective locations timely. We ensure the house isn’t a garbage dump, we help with school projects, we make Target runs at 8pm for items needed the next day at school – essentially, we ensure everyone else’s lives are taken care of and functioning appropriately. Oh yeah, and don’t forget if you’re a working mom there’s that whole other job/career thing (no time to go into that right now ….).

Some of us even wear the guilt as a badge of honor (I am guilty of this by the way) – “Ohh, look at me and all the work I put in, all the things I do for you – never mind me, I’m fine – my life is fulfilling and I live to serve….” Hello martyr anyone? What is the cost of our martyrdom? What is the cost to our selves and our families down the road?

Well, if we don’t stop and jump off the guilt train, unfortunately the future is pretty bleak. Consistently putting others needs, others wants, and others priorities ahead of your own because you feel like you should, will only lead to overwhelm, anxiety, chronic stress, anger, frustration, feeling unappreciated, fatigued, uninterested in family time, lower libido, low self-esteem – I could keep going but I think you get the gist.

Let’s face it – being a mom is a lot of responsibility and a lot of work. And yes, it requires certain sacrifices to ensure that your children are happy and healthy and turn out to be (we hope) somewhat normal humans who contribute to this world and find their own dreams and live their own happiness. But recall – we mom’s also have our own dreams, our own lives, our own health and happiness to consider.  If we are burnt out shells of ourselves who constantly are running ourselves ragged and ignore the toll on our bodies and minds – we will not have done our jobs as mothers. We would have modeled extremely poor behaviors for our families. We would be too tired, too fat and too diseased as we grow older to enjoy our children and someday maybe our grandchildren. We would have lost our spark for living. How, I ask you, is that being a good mom?

I believe that part of being a good mom is showing your children the importance of taking care of yourself – body, mind and spirit. Modeling behaviors that you want to instill in your children is the best way to teach them. Taking time for your self-care, putting thought and practice into what goes into your body, making time for exercise and fun – all of these habits will:

  1. Keep you calm so that you don’t morph into the crazy, at your wits-end mom who freaks out on her kids (don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about)
  2. Help you stay physically fit to keep up with your children and participate in activities with them over the years
  3. Help you feel better about yourself, happy, fulfilled and alive
  4. Help you look younger and grow old gracefully (by showing wrinkles and fat who’s boss)
  5. Help you want to stay connected and close to your partner and have a fulfilling sex life (this also helps you not become the crazy, rampaging mom I spoke about above)
  6. Help you live a long, healthy life and decrease or eliminate the chances that your children will have the burden of caring for you in their adult years
  7. Show your children that mom is important too and she is an actual person outside of the dirty laundry and messes she cleans up
  8. Provide for a positive family experience full of love and laughter

So – it’s time to give up the excuses, put the guilt behind you and start saying yes to YOU. Mom guilt is destructive and counter-productive to what we really want for our families. No more “because I should” or “because I have to” or “I’ll take care of me when I have time”. There is no one more important than you in your family – if you aren’t around to ground and center your family what would happen? I know I don’t want to know. I am now dedicated to catching myself falling into the guilt trap, stopping and redirecting myself. I am working hard at this because I want my girls to see positive examples of how they should take care of themselves and their families when they are older.

It’s a constant and conscious effort on my part – one that I have already felt the positive affects of.  Just ask my husband (who is not the subject of my crazy, tired, angry and irrational tirades any longer)!

Remember it’s not about PERFECT, it’s about HAPPY

Perfectionism, People-Pleasing & Overwhelm Are Robbing you of Vitality and Health

We all strive for excellence and fulfillment in every aspect of our lives – career, relationships, health.  We juggle all things, try to make everyone happy, try to fulfill our work obligations, our family obligations and maintain our friendships and connections.  We commit ourselves to doing – well – everything. We don’t want to let anyone down. Oftentimes though we have learned to equate being “perfect”, having a life we’ve built in our minds as perfect, to living in excellence.  This confusion is quietly and slowly affecting you negatively both physically and mentally. It’s contributing to fatigue, overwhelm, weight gain, hormone imbalance, sleep issues and disease.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Perfectionism is a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable especially: the setting of unrealistically demanding goals accompanied by a disposition to regard failure to achieve them as unacceptable and a sign of personal worthlessness.

Most of us don’t think of being a perfectionist as a sign of being worthless. Many of us regard it as a badge of honor. We carry it around, identify with it, use it to show others how amazing we are. The reality is, this mode of operation is making us sick and overweight. It is setting us up for failure after failure which causes a circle of overwhelm, anxiety, depression and illness. There is no such thing as being perfect and because we never reach that goal – we are continuously failing ourselves. 

Physically, perfectionism and the need to be all things to all people and to do it all flawlessly each and every time – is having a significant impact on our bodies. Perfectionistic tendencies and thoughts lead to anxiety and worry. Anxiety and worry lead to chronic stress which leads to weight gain – or the inability to lose weight, it impacts your ability to concentrate and focus, can cause headaches, irritability, a pounding heart, shortness of breath, upset stomach, loss of libido, an increase in blood pressure, extreme fatigue, unexplained muscle aches or pain, imbalances in blood sugar, fertility problems, erectile dysfunction – the list goes on. In short, the effects of being a perfectionist affect your central nervous system, your cardiovascular system, your immune system, your excretory and digestive system and your respiratory system.

Anxiety and worry trigger your bodies cortisol response (your “fight or flight” response) in the sympathetic nervous system. While this response is beneficial and works for you in many positive ways, when you experience constant anxiety, worry and overwhelm your body is in a chronic state of stress and the cortisol production doesn’t cease when it should. Your hormones become imbalanced causing a myriad of issues:

  1. Stress hormones cause your blood vessels to constrict which increases blood pressure and your risk for heart attack or stroke;
  2. Under stress your liver produces more blood sugar to produce the energy your body thinks it needs to fight the stressor, increasing the risk of developing insulin sensitivity and Type 2 Diabetes;
  3. Increased levels of stress hormones also affect the way food moves through your body which can cause acid reflux, stomach issues, constipation or diarrhea;
  4. Muscles tense up to protect themselves which could lead to cramps, back aches, shoulder pain, headaches;
  5. When chronically stressed the body’s response lowers the production of testosterone, causes issues with estrogen/progesterone production leading to menstrual problems and lowering libido;
  6. You may experience sleep issues as your normal circadian rhythms are pushed out of sync as cortisol – which should decrease as the day goes on, stays high.  This suppresses the production of melatonin in the evening and impacts the timing and quality of your sleep. This hugely impacts your weight, hormones and all the repair functions your body goes through during its sleep cycles. 

Whoa – I’m overwhelmed just reading all that!!  So, what can we do about this???

We do not have to allow our perfectionistic & people-pleasing tendencies take over and destroy our health. There are several lifestyle changes, mindset shifts and everyday habits/practices we can build in order to take back control and make a significant impact in how we feel and look. 

MIND: Lasting change is a losing battle without the right mindset

  1. Identification: Identifying when you are slipping into perfectionistic & people-pleasing tendencies is the first step. Once you are aware, you can consciously focus on change. You can redirect your thoughts.
  2. Let go: Work on understanding that nothing is ever perfect, you can’t control everything and you can’t be all things to all people. It’s ok to let go. You are enough just as you are!
  3. Mindfulness practices: (examples – yoga/meditation) Allow yourself to have space for thought & self-care. These practices will help calm your mind and body and help reduce your anxiety and stress.


  1. Move!  Movement and exercise are natural stress releasers and have positive effects on your mind and body. Even just getting up and walking for 5 minutes around the office can help ease your stress tremendously.
  2. Breathe – Practice slow, deep breathing; focused breathing with the exhale longer than the inhale. This type of breathing sends messages to your brain and hormones that it’s time to relax.
  3. Introduce healthy foods into your diet which have a positive impact on stress reduction. What you eat HUGELY impacts your bodies reactions and ability to function. I can’t stress this enough!
    • Green leafy vegetables boost your magnesium levels & contain folate which increases your dopamine levels (happy hormone);
    • Foods that contain tryptophan (an amino acid – think protein) help produce serotonin and regulate feelings of happiness and hunger levels. Examples include nuts, seeds, tofu, fish, lentils, eggs, oats & beans.
    • Anti-inflammatory foods with Omega 3 fatty acids to help counteract the effects of stress.


  1. Place importance upon & engage in positive self-care. This is NOT a guilty indulgence (I’m speaking to you Moms out there), it is an essential component of your overall health and well-being. You are just as important as those you serve – create a healthy relationship with yourself;
  2. Spend time with friends and family – those who make you laugh and who love you.  Limit toxic relationships. Connect with your community;
  3. Take time to connect with something bigger than yourself – whether it’s your faith, the universe or a walk outside. Putting your anxieties and worries into perspective of the larger world often takes a lot of the pressure and worry off your shoulders and provides a positive opportunity for community and connection.

If you want to find out how you can use easy to implement diet and lifestyle changes to help you feel better, lose weight, reach your health goals, and not feel so overwhelmed and tired please click (or type into your browser) the link below to schedule your free 30 minute consultation.

#mindsetmonday – Enjoy life as it is

Remember to always stop. Step back and look around you to find something – no matter how small – to enjoy and be grateful for! Your soul will thank you.

Mine? The rare occassion where I was able to make my now teenage daughter smile, give me hug and say thank you. All while not embarrassing her (for once). Yes, it involved a birthday gift of a lifesize cutout of her favorite celebrity. But, I got the hug and smile and it was worth it!

#mindsetmonday – there is good

Amidst the chaos and tipsy turbulence world Covid19 threw us into; amidst the senseless violence and hatred that is yet again tearing its ugly head across our nation – remember – there is still good in this world. With hundreds of thousands of amazing human beings who give of themselves, who love and who provide peace, hope and stability.

There is more power in love than in fear and hate. how will you choose to be?

#mindsetmonday It’s Monday – Again!

And so, Monday, we meet again. I know, the right thing to say is something like “Ok, so Monday’s are only icky if I choose for that to be”. And even though, I know logically for that to be true. Most of the time, normal everyday humans are like – FXXX that hippy, drippy, mind crap – Monday’s are hard and Monday’s suck and shove it you happy M-F’r.

So, let’s get real. Yes, Monday’s are hard – especially after a beautiful, relaxing, sunny and warm weekend. Yes, getting the kids to wake up and go through their school assignments and providing direction kind of blows. Getting yourself ready and together and firing up that laptop to start the work-week can be a total bummer. But, you what? Suck it up, get your grown-up on and conquer the day.

Let your negativity out, let Monday suck for a bit. And then, get to work. Decide to crush the day. Be thankful you have that job. Be grateful you have a safe home and awesome kids and loved ones and friends. Focus yourself and your mind and get yourself into that positive mindset, that flow you need to harness in order to live another day, to be a productive human and ultimately, to enjoy your life. Let the negative go and settle in for another crazy week.


#mindsetmonday Shine On

It’s a beautiful sunny day today in Cleveland Ohio. The kids are online doing their lessons and I’m blessed to be able to be working while we are all at home.

The day, the week and this month will bring challenges – big and small. But together, as a family and as a larger community we will face them.

So today I choose to shine on. What will you choose today? Look outside, connect to something bigger than yourself and choose to shine your light.

Breath of fresh air – staying sane amidst social distancing

The first 3 weeks of “isolation” and social distancing weren’t too bad for me. I kept my family’s daily structure in tact, enjoyed sleeping in and not having to “get ready” and drive to work. I cooked more and didn’t really mind not leaving my house. This is very odd for me. Normally, I loathe cooking and I get ansty and am always looking for something to do to get out of the house on the weekends. I surprised myself. “Am I turning into a hermit” I thought.

And then, the official news – at least 4 additional weeks at home. I realized how much I was missing my parents and I just wanted to hug my mom. I missed seeing my co-workers and friends face to face (not through a computer) and the thought of 4 long weeks at home suddenly terrified me. I felt trapped and alone – and I have 4 other people living in my house. (Side-note – to those of you who live alone and are by yourselves in your homes – God bless you – you are a stronger person than I). I had an anxiety attack at the thought of being trapped and my mind went wild.

Now, keep in mind that everday I work hard at staying calm and being at peace with the situation. I meditate, do EFT and listen to uplifing books or podcasts. My main goal each day is to stay positive, not panic and role-model good behavior for my kids so they don’t freak out. However, this threw me for a loop. After 3 days of being unsettled and scared – the weather here in Cleveland became amazingly beautiful. The sun has actually been shining and today..well today was an amazing day. Today I went out in the morning to my front garden beds, which were overgrown when we bought the house in October, and I had a mission. I spent 4 glorious hours outside weeding to my hearts content.

The sounds of the birds chirping, the wind blowing gently, my kids playing in the yard. All of a sudden I realized – I FELT NORMAL!! Corona-what? I felt normal. And it hit me – I realized that this too will pass and the lessons learned will be carried forward. We will be able to hug each other and have gatherings again. The kids will be able to see their friends and life will carry on. I felt at peace and I looked up at the great big beautiful blue sky, felt the sunshine on my face and said – thank you. Thank you for this amazing life. At that moment I felt truly blessed.

My anxiety and fear have abated and I am once again hopeful and at peace. I urge all of you who are struggling to look out. Look beyond our immediate circumstances and see the bigger picture and know that all will be well. ALL WILL BE WELL. Beleive it. Feel it in your bones. Know it in your soul.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. And remember to always be who YOU are – because you are amazing.

Take this time at home; Make the space and look for the positive

Hello all. And so, here we are – an unknown and scary time for so many. As my parents remember bomb shelter drills and such as part of their childhood, so my children will likely remember self-isolation and remote learning periods. Hopefully lessons will be learned and this won’t be an annual thing…

I know that all the unknowns bring fear, anxiety and worry. And, while I agree there are many things for us as responsible grown-ups to be legit worried about, we CAN NOT let the fear, anxiety and worry overtake us. Now, more than ever, we need to employ our self-care practices to stay healthy, hone our meditation practices, excercise, pray etc. Whatever it takes to stay sane and keep our stress levels down. It’s the constant stress, the constant stream of uninterrupted cortisol that will lower our immunity and crack our sanity. Self-care at this time is not only important for our own peace of mind and stress levels but we must role-model positive behaviors, reactions and responses to our children, families, loved ones, co-workers and those we come across.

So, to this I say – while managing the negative, start focusing on the positives that this experience, this time could bring us.

What positives you ask? Well, they will be different for each of us. But, here are a few I’ve started to keep in mind on my list. Please feel free to add your own in the comments to this post!

Being at home so much offers me the space and time to take stock of my life. I have the time to ensure I am aligned with who I want to be and the values I uphold. I have the time to identify areas that I’d like to work on and improve.

I get to sleep in an extra hour!!!! The time I spent putting makeup on, making sure the kids were ready for school, prepping for dinner and in the car driving is now extra sleep for me – YES!!!

Being at home gives me time for catching up on my reading. My husband teases me as I have a new book coming from Amazon every other week, most of which I have only had the time to skim or research information from. I can now actually dedicate real time to reading! Woo hoo!!

I am able to spend more time with my kids outside of the hours I am working in the office or when they are working on school assignments. I don’t feel so rushed and find I am really enjoying the chatter, the laughter, the stories. Instead of being rushed to get to the “next thing” and rushing them through or only paying 1/2 attention – I am more present with them. While we always had “family-time” in the evenings, we are now doing other things interspersed throughout the day – baking, puzzles, games, walks.

I appreciate all the little things I have taken for granted. Like, greeting folks with hugs, eating out, going to the mall or a movie. Just being able to be free and be out and about.

My house is actually CLEAN – OMG – It Makes Me SOOO HAPPY!!!!!

And though these types of situations can bring out the worst in humanity, it also brings out the best. I choose everyday to focus on the “best’s” that are happening all around the world. The support, the selfless giving, the love – amazing stories of the goodness of people abound. It inspires me, gives me hope and makes my soul happy.

So, while we are all managing our fears and worries – focusing on the positives helps us get through. It gives us comfort. It reduces our stress. It brings us together and reminds us that we are not alone.

What will make your soul happy? Where will you find the positives in the Corona environment in which we are living? Please share – and – take care of yourself!

Winter blah’s?

Hey all, so I realized yesterday as I was leaving the gym that I have heard a common theme from just about everyone I’ve talked with in the last few weeks – Does this sound familiar –

“I have been so tired lately”; “I’m so unmotivated”; “I want to do nothing”; “I have been eating like crap and can’t seem to stop”; “What’s going on with me?”; “This is not like me to be so lazy”; “I feel depressed & icky” etc.

Here in Cleveland, Ohio we all know what this is – the dreaded winter blah’s. The sun never shines, it’s always dull, grey and overcast – or worse a whiteout of snow. It’s cold. The snowbirds have all taken flight (my parents included) and it’s just…UGH. I fall victim to this every year. This year I knew it would come and I tried to prepare myself mentally. I made a list of all the good things winter brings. I came up with some ideas for keeping a positive attitude during this time. I had a plan. But before I knew it, I found myself not wanting to leave the house. I wanted to sit in my comfy clothes & eat – pretty much everything I don’t normally eat the rest of the year – IN LARGE QUANTITIES. I found myself going to the vending machine at work and eating peanut M&Ms, I ate a Klondike bar the other night – I haven’t eaten one of those in probably 15 years! This, after a trip to Insomnia cookies with the family and consistently not eating healthy meals. And I wondered – what the hell is wrong with me??? My kids have been puzzled – “Who are you mom”??

Then it hit me – OMG – despite my meager efforts the winter blah’s have descended. They just crept right in under my vigilant watch. Those FXXXERS! Well, it took me a minute, but once I identified what literally EVERYONE I’ve been around has been talking about, I’m now back in full combat mode. I WILL NOT GET SUCKED INTO THE VOID of Winter depression. It’s hard to dig out of. Especially when real depression and anxiety has followed you you’re entire life. But, I’m equipped with what I need and I have a good support network. Every day now I wake up, look in the mirror and order myself to stop the “blah”, I find something (anything) positive to hold onto and I make the choice to role-model the positive for my kids (even if I’m not feeling it). Slowly but surely I’m starting to feel like me again and take back control. I’m not perfect and I have my moments – but I remember it’s a journey and it’s a part of life. This challenge that has been given to me is for a reason and I know I will be ok. The sun always shines again.

So – how do you handle the winter blues? PLEASE SHARE – I need all the help I can get and I have a sneaking suspicion many others do as well. And remember – you choose everyday how you will look at life. Start making the choice that fills your soul with happiness and keep choosing – EVERY DAMN DAY.

#mindsetmonday – the truth


One of my favorite quotes – and I’m not sure who said it initially – goes:

“The Truth is that you are whole, perfect, capable and deserving. The Truth is that you are meant for greatness. The Truth is that you are capable of doing whatever it is you want to do on your own terms.”

As human beings we are only bound by the limits we place upon ourselves. It’s the thoughts, conditioning and mindset we operate in that limits us. However, the truth is that each one of us was put on this earth for a purpose; To discover our innate talents and abilities and share them with the world. We only have one life in our physical bodies – why do we waste it in fear and limitation?

How will you be brave? What are you limiting yourself to? Life truly is what we make of it.


Who are you. YOU – your truest self. What do you believe? What do you stand for? How do you see the world? What are you goals, your dreams? What values do you hold?

How do you exhibit those everyday? How do you show up in the world and does it align with who you are? Do you allow others to experience who you are?

If you haven’t thought about these questions in a while – it’s time to revisit them. The answers to them are foundational to your happiness in everyday life.

Remember always – be who YOU are!

Are you Ready for Summer? Free 2 week Challenge

Designed to get you energized and ready for summer – from the inside out!

All meals are gluten-free, easy to prepare and packed with the nutrition you need to welcome all the activities summer brings.

2 weekly meal plans, grocery lists, recipes and prep guides all done for you. All you need to do is commit! Click the link above to get your free plan now!

Lack of focus? Weight Gain? Cold all the time? Mood swings?

It’s time to ask yourself some questions!

Are you experiencing any of the following?

  • Brain fog, memory not what it used to be
  • Losing hair (scalp, body, outer third eyebrows)
  • Hair is dry and tangles easily
  • Constipated often and need a stimulate (like caffeine) to get a movement
  • Cold and/or have cold hands/feet
  • Periods are sporadic or occur more than 35 days apart
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Dry skin
  • I’ve had difficulty getting pregnant or have had a first trimester miscarriage
  • Low mood, struggle with depression
  • Tired no matter how much I sleep
  • Difficult to break a sweat
  • Recurrent headaches
  • High cholesterol
  • Hoarse voice most days

If you thought – “yep that’s me” to 5 or more of the above, it’s time to schedule that appointment with your practitioner and get your thyroid checked. Especially if you’ve spent anytime on birth control meds, you’ll want to take a closer look here. 

Your thyroid controls your metabolism. Pay Attention Here, it SETS YOUR METABOLIC RATE. It contributes to your energy, your menses, your mood and affects pretty much every single cell in your body. It is connected to your brain function and your gut function. When your thyroid is messed up and out of sorts – so will you be! 

Don’t wait one more day – make that appointment, get those labs done! And while you’re at it, help your thyroid out by taking care of your gut health – the two are more closely linked that you’d think!

Digestive health – your microbiome. The (very) basics [Part 2]

Microbiome is a word used to describe the village of single-cell organisms (bacteria, fungi) living in your body and all the genes within them. Fun-facts: microbes outnumber human cells by about 10 to 1 and we carry around about 3-4 pounds of microbes within us every day (about the same weight as your brain)! In fact, there are more bacteria DNA living in our body’s than human.

Most of the these microbes are beneficial to us and help us in many ways. If the health of your microbiome is in jeopardy or is in disarray, so will you be. Your overall health depends highly on it. These little guys are smart and actually communciate with each other through a system much like our hormones use. We are going to focus here on the microbiome within our digestive system.

So, what does your microbiome do for you? Your microbiome helps your digestion by releasing lactic acid, which stimulates your immune system as well as promotes the secretion of digestive enzymes. It also regulates the pH of our guts, making it a more unhappy place to be for “bad” or pathogenic microbes to grow. Good gut bacteria also produces vitamins such as B12, Vitamin K and Biotin. They also produce SCFAs (short-chain fatty acids) that promote gut healing and gut health.

Bacteria in your microbiome also have the ability to protect your immune function (70 – 80% of your immune system is within the gut), or to enable issues to occur such as allergies and autoimmune conditions. Crazy right?

To help the little guys in our guts out, try these nutritional and lifestyle strategies:

  • Avoid sugar and processed foods (bad bacteria LOVE to feed on sugar & other chemicals within processed foods)
  • Avoid artificial sweetners
  • Limit grains
  • Avoid vegetable oils (think canola, soybean and peanut oils) as well as margerine and shortening. These are high in inflammatory fats and are also NOT good for our heart health. Use EVOO, avocado oil, ghee or coconut oil instead.
  • Eat a variety of plant-based foods – organic when possible
  • Drink spring or filtered water
  • Avoid unecessary antibiotics (these kill the bad AND the good and it takes your microbiome a long time to recuperate; in fact, it may never be the same again)
  • Avoid antacids
  • Limit alcohol
  • Avoid smoking
  • Reduce stress
  • Increase self-care

Bottom line – feed, nurture and protect the good microbes in your gut and you will go a long way in staying healthy and disease free.