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December 15, 2021


Holiday time is famous for parties with lots of food, drinks and sweet treats.

Itís definitely a wonderful time for celebrating with friends and family.

While itís fun to let go and just eat and drink whatever strikes the fancy for a night, I like to choose the things I like the best to splurge on so that I donít totally wreck the hard work Iíve been doing.

A lot of the junk food out there really doesnít make me happy. Sometimes itís just the idea of it. So I pick what I will really savor. That way Iíll still feel like I splurged, but tomorrow my body wonít feel oversugared and bloated and my mind foggy.

Taking a moment to think about a plan (what to have and what really isn't worth it) creates a bigger chance for success. That moment is worth it!

Your success and happiness can be multiplied by having supportive people around you. When you choose who you spend most of your time with, may it be those who support you in your goals, care about you as a person and respect who you are despite differences. Keep these ones close. They will energize you and help you stay on track, even when challenges are many. Let the energy suckers and naysayers go.
Learn from Others; Then Make Your OWN Decision
November 17, 2021
Itís great to have other people to ask advice. Itís sometimes nice to see what someone else would do. Itís smart to gather facts.

Everyone speaks from their own perspective. While others may have ideas that have worked for them or what they believe is right, ultimately, YOU are the one who can make your own best decision. YOU know how things work best (or not) for you. YOU are the one who will be affected by whatever decision you make.

Learn the facts, take in all the info, weigh it all and then decide what fits best with how you want to live life. Make it YOURS!
Watch Your Thoughts!
November 15, 2021

Your thoughts at each moment affect EVERY decision you makeÖwhat to eat for lunch, how to react to the guy who cut you off in traffic, whether you take the steps or the elevator, whether to try something new or let the chance pass you by.
So before you move along in your day, take some deep breaths and get your head on straight. A clear, positive mind will help you make clear, positive decisions for your next steps. Itíll keep you on track and keep you moving toward what you want instead of either frozen in fear of the future or taking steps that arenít really focused.

What mindset do you need to get into before you continue your day?
A Deload is Essential in the Gym AND in Life
November 10, 2021
CostasWellness2021-162Deloading is essential for the body to get some much needed rest after having worked so hard in the gym for several weeks. It not only benefits the muscles but also gives your central nervous system a break to reset and be ready for your next round of hard work.

During a deload week, you take a little rest. You donít necessarily stop your workouts altogether, but scale back to give your body some recovery time after putting it through stress for a while.

After a tough emotional week, I discovered that maybe deload weeks should be planned into the other parts of life. Itís okay to take a break from all the busyness and stress of life to help reset and get ready for the next go around.
Although we canít schedule a week long vacation every 4-8 weeks, we can definitely set some limits to give ourselves time to rest and recharge our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual sides.

This week, Iím slowing down the things that often take my time. Of course there are some responsibilities that I have to keep going, but I can save the nonessentials for next week. So THIS week Iím not going anywhere extra, focusing on some things in my house that I keep looking at and wanting to get accomplished, making sure I get to bed on time EVERY night, choosing to do some things I WANT to do rather than what I think I should be doing.

After a deload week, research has shown that muscles show even more gains and break through plateaus.
Be sure to give yourself some deload time every now and then in every area of life to reset and recharge your drained batteries.

What things will you include in your deload week?
You're Only as Strong as Your Core
November 1, 2021
Basic Core Stabilization

   Who doesnít aim for that six pack of abs? ​Theyíre usually a sign of hard work in the gym and good choices in the kitchen.
   Looks ARENíT everything, however!
   Deep inside there, youíve got a core tha
t keeps you stable during everything you do, even just standing and sitting.
   Your core is what gets and keeps you upright. It keeps you stable when you twist your body, when you reach with your arms and legs, when you move your body in any way at work, home and play.
   EVERYTHING we do requires a solid core. When itís not strong and flexible, we get injured, our backs hurt, our balance is off.
   If your goal is to lift heavy, your lifts can only be as strong as your core will allow. Otherwise, the weight puts your back in an unstable position or your body moves in ways that invite injury to compensate for lack of strength to stay anchored. The stronger your core, the more solid and true will be your other lifting movements.
   Even if your goal isnít a six pack of abs or huge muscles, at least strive for a strong, stable core. It just takes 5-10 minutes a day and doesnít require even one sit up or crunch.
   So what are some exercises that are good for the core? Movements like dead bugs, glute bridges, planks, rotating band exercises are a good start.
   Check out the video for these simple movements to get you started. If youíre looking for more of a challenge or more ideas, reach out and let me know!
Determine What You Can Control and Let the Rest Go!
October 27, 2021
Life is full of things that we canít change. In every situation, though, there is SOMETHING that we can control.
It may be a lot; it may be a little.

No matter what, we can always control how we react to our circumstances. Having a healthy understanding of what we can and canít control and training ourselves to react calmly and with a clear mind can protect our mental health and move us forward rather than causing extra stress and freezing us in our tracks.
I like to start practicing with small things so that Iím more ready once a bigger situation arises. For example, I have a headache and still get up early to meet a client at 6:30 a.m. when I normally get there at 7 and the client oversleeps and doesnít show. Arg! I could be upset about it and get grumpy, but itís not really going to help the situation. I canít control the other person. I canít control the headache I have. I CAN decide that Iím not going to let it affect my mood. Instead I can figure out how I will spend the extra time that I have free.

Instead of letting others and things I canít control affect my mood and put extra stress on me, Iíd rather take control of what I can which is ALWAYS my mindset, which then affects my next steps.

Take control and responsibility of what you can and let the rest run its course. Thereís only so much we can do, but itís not worth the stress it causes when we fret over what we canít change!

Whether trying to lose weight, keep healthy muscles and bones or trying to tone and gain strength, you NEED to get enough daily protein.

Benefits of protein:
-build and keep muscle
-keeps you satiated to reduce hunger levels and cravings
-bone health (decreasing chance of osteoporosis)
-boosts metabolism, in turn to burn more fat
-maintain weight loss
-helps repair tissue after injuries

How much is good for you? Essentially, itís always a bit of trial and error, but at LEAST 10% of your calories should come from protein just to not be deficient. If you have weight loss or muscle building goals, aim for more like 30%.

How do I get my protein in? Of course, any meats contain lots (beef, chicken, fish, lamb). Other animal products are good sources, but not as high (eggs, dairy). There are also plant based options (tofu, beans, nuts). There are also always protein powders and shakes to supplement the whole food protein that youíre eating. As you make your protein choices, just watch fat and carb content to make sure itís not busting your other nutrition goals).

Make the Best of Everything!
October 23, 2021
Every Day is a Day to Start Over (or Keep Going)
October 20, 2021
No matter what happened yesterday, in the last week or in the last 10 years, TODAY is always a day to start fresh toward where you want to be.

Why put it off? There are lots of excuses, but if youíre committed to you, just get started!

Today is day one of the rest of your life. Start with one little decision that can lead to greatness.

What if today I step forward and tomorrow I slide back a bit? Thatís okay. Learn from the past and take some more steps forward.

As long as youíre looking to the future and seeing the you that can be, itís possible.

What do you need to succeed? Figure out what that is and start after it. Youíre worth it.

If you need help figuring out how to get there, Iím here to help as a wellness coach! Contact me to set up a free consultation to see how I can help you reach your potential.
Choose Gratefulness over Complaints
October 18, 2021

 There is plenty going on in the world to complain about.  There is just as much, if not more, to be grateful for!

The thoughts and actions you do most often become habits.  

Would you rather be a person whose habit is to complain or to be thankful for what you have?

One will make you a grump.  The other will feed your happiness.

Whichever you choose to practice will become stronger over time.  

Grumpiness or happiness is up to you!
Why is it important to sometimes take a break from all of the action, all of the strictness, all of the hardcoreness of your life?

ē Rests your brain for more clear, focused thinking
ē Gives you time to make decisions
ē Allows your body time to heal
ē Keeps your stress hormones under control
ē Supports maintenance of normal levels of blood sugar, breathing and heart rate, blood pressure
ē Improves mood
ē Reduces stress and inflammation

If you donít take care of yourself now and again, your body will FORCE you to slow down because:

ē immunity is compromised and you get sick
ē muscles are overtrained and you get injured
ē emotions run amok and you have break downs (small or big)
ē digestion and other body processes get out of whack
ē the brain starts to get tired and foggy or overstimulated and thoughts arenít clear
ē irritability starts to set in and grumpiness gets you in trouble with others
Although there are times when you have to push through and focus on the active parts of your goals to get things accomplished, YOU give yourself rest time on YOUR terms and let the benefits help you get to where youíre going!
Benefit from Meditation in Just a Few Minutes!
October 11, 2021
Some people say they donít have time for meditation.  Or they canít sit still for long enough.  Or itís boring.  Or they donít know what to do.

The benefits of meditation can start with just a few short minutes.  Before you get up in the morning.  At lunch.  When you get home from work just before you start your home stuff.  Right before bed.  If you have more than a few minutes, great!  But itís a good place to start.

A few minutes can get you focused for your day, relax your brain and body, get you in a good head space or energize you, depending on what you need at the time.  

Start with what you can do. Maybe it's just a few minutes of deep breathing.  Maybe it's a few minutes of becoming aware of your surroundings.  Maybe you have a mantra or a prayer that you can repeat.  Maybe you tighten each part of your body and then release it, feeling the difference.  Choose what will work for you in the moment and with the time you have.

Let me know if youíd like more ideas for how you can get started on meditation to most benefit you in your day!
Habits Help You Through the Holidays
October 6, 2021

Itís the beginning of October. Not quite 2 months Ďtil Thanksgiving, the kickoff of the biggest holiday season for many folks.

This is the perfect time to get or stay on track with healthy habits to take us through the most tempting time of the year.

It takes AT LEAST 21 days to get into a new habit, depending on how long youíve had a conflicting habit. That gives us plenty of time to get on track and get that habit in place before the real temptations begin.
Several things help us to start a new habit:

-Decide why you want to start the new habit. (healthier snacks to limit sugar)

-Think about why the old habit is attractive. (exóM&Mís are tasty and a treat for making it through the day)

-When does it happen? (when I get home from work)

-Why do I want to change it? (too much sugar)

-Brainstorm: What else can give the same reward? (If Iím looking for sweet, fruit could be an option. Maybe dark chocolateóstill chocolate, not as much sugar, I eat it more slowly)

-Create new habit idea. (when Iím craving a snack, a yogurt parfait sprinkled with vanilla, berries and a chopped dark chocolate square, cocoa nibs or sprinkle of cocoa)

-Keep a reminder of why this is a better option. (Greek yogurtóprobiotic, protein; vanillaóflavor without added sugar; berriesósweet but least sugar fruits; dark chocolateógives the chocolate fix with little added sugar, benefits from flavanols, polyphenols, anti-inflammatory compounds)

-Plan by thinking of ways to make the new habit easy and ways the old habit will still call to you. (add things I need to my grocery list, chop chocolate so itís ready, put Post-It on the fridge with reminder, put leftover M&Mís out of sight to use for holiday cookies to share with others)

-Track progress (put a star on my calendar each day I follow the new plan)

If you follow these steps, youíll be well on your way to creating a new habit that you can stick to. Keep yourself on track by reminding yourself of your why and looking at your progress often to start feeling pride in your new routine.
This is one of those ďtrust the processĒ things I was talking about earlier this week. You got this!
Be Patient and Trust Your Process
October 4, 2021
Good things come to those who wait.  Well, not just wait.  Thereís usually some work involved, too.  Patience is an important ingredient, though.  The best things often take time, planning, energy and belief that things are going to turn out in a wonderful way.

When working toward something, keep in mind that thereís a process to get there.  Staying on track and doing the right things l get us there.  We may need some adjustments along the way, but all in the right spirit of the process and the goal. 

Not just looking for a quick fix.  Not the shortcut.  

Trust that the right things youíre doing are going to get you there.  If your process is true and based on something (science, evidence, experience), be patient and results will come.

Change It Up:  Tostada Tuesday!
September 29, 2021
Sometimes on taco Tuesday you just say ďtaco schmacoĒ. Out of taco shells but Iíve got plenty of corn tortillas so I made tostadas instead. Itís like a crunchy Mexican pizza!
This one can be meaty, vegetarian or vegan, depending on what you put on it.

Corn tortilla
Cream cheese and/or refried beans mixed with taco seasoning
Shredded meat (mixed with chili powder, garlic, cumin and salt)
Salsa or diced tomatoes
Cold toppings: Greens, green onions, cilantro, jalapenos

Toast the tortilla in the oven or in a skillet (no oil) until itís crispy. (A toaster oven is perfect size for one or two)

Smear it with cream cheese spread and/or refried beans.

Add a shredded meat.

Top with salsa or diced tomatoes and cheese.

Throw it back in the oven for a minute until the cheese melts.

Afterwards, you can toss on some toppings. Just donít put too much on one or it will all fall off while you try to eat it. No one said you can't have two!
Kick Those Limiting Beliefs!
September 27, 2021
We all have things that we believe that have not been scientifically proven.  We may have experienced them once or twice.  We may have been taught it from someone.  We may have created some imaginary thing in our heads as an excuse for not taking action.

If itís not been proven as a FACT, it may not actually be the way it works all the time.  It may be worth taking that risk for a potential reward.

One of mine is that I don't know as much as someone else and may be less qualified.  Definitely sometimes true, but that doesn't mean I don't have a ton to offer!

Whatís one belief that would benefit you to be out of your mind?  I bet many of us have the same ones!
See Value in Being Able to Admit You're Wrong
September 22, 2021
No one LOVES to be wrong, but as humans, we are all there every once in a while.  Or more.  Lol.

What are the benefits?

-evolution of ideas 
-no one likes a no-it-all who can never admit mistakes
-can save and strengthen relationships
-being open to new ways of being
-easier to fix mistakes fast than trying to get out of that deep hole that got dug
-develops your courage
-shows that you respect other ideas

Nourish Your Body -> Reach Your Goals!
September 13, 2021
ďI exercise so I can eat whatever I want.Ē Thatís what I used to say in my early twenties.

Now I know better. Yes, the exercise I do can burn the calories I eat, but itís so much more than that.
Number of calories in and out is one thing. Thatís just the very basic idea of weight management. Now I know I need to NOURISH my body, not just feed it whatever tastes good.

Quality of food is a whole Ďnother thing. To really reach fitness and wellness goals, itís important to really be cognizant of what we put in our bodies.

Protein matters. Carbs matter. Fat matters. Nutrients matter. How much of each matters. What kind of each matters.
Often people say they exercise but theyíre not seeing results. Results could mean getting or maintaining a certain weight, feeling less inflamed or foggy or bloated, sleeping betterÖso many things.

Adapting diet to support goals is a key part of getting and keeping a body healthy. Eating the right foods can help with weight, but can help with everything that makes that awesome body run in an optimal way.

Bodies wants to get and stay healthy. They sift through the food we eat and grab all of the good things like a hungry hippo. If weíre putting other stuff in, though, it takes what it can when it can and does what it can with it.

Letís give our bodies what they deserve to be happy and well! Donít just FEED them. NOURISH them!

Need help figuring out what foods might help you get to where you want to be? Reach out with questions!
Who knows you better than you? NO ONE!

No matter what kind of decision or change youíre trying to make, YOU are the one who knows you best to be able to make the right choices for YOU.

Think about all of the varying advice there is out there. It gets confusing. It might be a starting place to see what others have done, but, ultimately, we know what we need, what we are able to do and what we want to accomplish more than anyone else does.

Trust yourself! Go with your gut! Learn to be your own most trusted resource! Youíve got it within you!

If you need help finding the answers, maybe try coaching!

During the sessions, we will work on clarifying your goal, identifying whatís working against you and figuring out the best ways to move forward. I'd love to be part of your journey!
Watch out for the Sugar Monster
August 1, 2021

Sugar is my nemesis.

I love ice cream and chocolate. That's what I crave when I feel I ďhave to have something nowĒ. I can take or leave the other stuff. But when those two are around, itís tough.

At least I straight up know theyíre terrible for me and how they make me feel. I know Iím gonna feel bloaty with too much sugar. A little twitchy and maybe a little impatient. Kind of high for a while before I need a nap.

Thereís not much good sugar does for our bodies, physically or mentally. It:
ē causes dysfunction in body systems,
ē causes inflammation,
ē feeds harmful bacteria
ē feeds cancer cells,

ē raises blood pressure,
ē can speed up skin and cell aging,
ē messes with your brain.
So I definitely try to save those treats for few and far between.

But what about all of the extra sugars that are surprising? There are added sugars in many of the foods we think to be ďhealthyĒ, and, otherwise, they would be.
Yogurt, condiments, dressings, snack bars, protein bars and powder are just a few foods in the kitchen that add extra sugar to our day.

Often people wonder why they canít lose weight or reach their goals even though they are eating the ďhealthyĒ things.

If this is something youíd like to check out, take a day to check the sugar content in everything you consume.

You may be amazed by the numbers like I was when I started keeping track.

Then I knew to look for better options. Being aware is a huge step when wanting to make a change.

I donít know if I can cut it out altogether, but I will definitely try not to eat them in my everyday foods. Natural foods can be so delicious as they are, so why mess with them?

My goal this week is to limit sugar intake to less than 25 grams of sugar each day, including the natural ones. Except for Saturday. Thatís the one day I make a treat.
I dare you to join me in this challenge! Try for one week and see what changes you feel in your body.
Enjoy the Journey on the Way to the Destination
July 26, 2021
enjoy_the_journeyFollowing Billyís path used to be one of my favorite Family Circus comic ďreadsĒ. I loved to see the adventure that he would find all along the way. That curious little rascal.

I realized recently, though, that I havenít been the kind that stops to enjoy the journey in my own life. I keep my eye on the prize. Push through Ďtil I get there.

ButÖI also realized that Iím missing some things along the way.

Stopping to notice the little things actually makes us better at life in general. It prepares us to be able to tackle similar situations that may arise in totally unrelated parts of life.

If I rush through a workout, I may get all the reps in, but I may not get the pump that I need to build and shape the muscle I want.

If I rush through a task reading and following the instructions, I may not stop to see why Iím doing what Iím doing so that I can do it more easily on my own next time.

If I chow down on my snack to get to the next thing, I may miss an opportunity to savor something delicious.
If we only focus on the destination, we could miss lots of opportunities to enjoy and learn.

Being goal oriented isnít a bad thing, by any means, and gives a sense of accomplishment when we get there.
Also having an appreciation for the process, though, adds even more to the experience and leaves us with more to carry with us.

Where could you slow down and really get more out of the process?
My Shepherd's Pie
July 23, 2021
Last nightís version of shepherdís pie:
3 sweet potatoes
2 T. butter, melted
2 T. milk
1 egg
Olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
Ĺ onion, chopped
1 lb. ground meat of choice*
1 can black beans
2 cloves garlic
Ĺ t. rosemary (I only like it groundóno pine needles for meólol)
ľ t. oregano
1 T. flour or arrowroot (for gf)
1 T. Worcestershire sauce or liquid aminos
1 c. broth of choice
Salt and pepper

Boil sweet potatoes 40 minutes or until fork slides in easily. Drain.

Heat oil in oven-proof skillet (cast iron is my go-to). Saute carrots and onion about 5 minutes. Add meat. Brown. Add beans, garlic, rosemary, oregano and flour. Cook about 5 minutes.

Add Worcestershire sauce and broth.
Simmer 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.
While waiting, remove skin from potatoes, mash and mix in butter, milk, egg and sprinkle of salt.

Spread potato mixture over meat mixture. Broil a few inches from heat 5-10 minutes, until lightly browned.

*For vegetarian option, I plan to try extra firm tofu, but Iím sure it will need a very gentle hand.

**Iíd also like to add jalapenos next time, maybe with cumin instead of rosemary.
Prioritize to Maximize!
July 22, 2021
My experience as a hopeful but only so-so gardener has taught me IN LIFE to focus on things that matter most to me and let the rest go.

Trying to do too much doesnít let you have enough time and energy to do anything really well. This year, when I chose my plants, I chose only the plants I REALLY wanted to growóbasil, zucchini and a few flowers. Would I love to have a beautiful garden with all kinds of veggies? Sure, but I know Iím not that great at it. But I KNOW Iíll put the time in for just those few favorites that I want to eat later this summer.

Same for other areas of life. Choose the things that are most important. The ones that you can say ďHell, yes!Ē to.

Focusing on the most important ones gives us enough time and energy for the things that really matter. We can commit more easily to a few major things rather than a bunch of trivial things that donít feed our love for life.

So when Iím out there watering just my few little plants and wondering if I shouldíve grown rosemary too, I need to remember that, while I like the IDEA of rosemary, I donít actually use it that much in my cooking. I need to focus on the things I love most.

And when making decisions about what weíll do today, letís not choose the things that society or other people think are important. Letís choose the things that align with who we are and what we want to accomplish.
Keep Your Promises, Especially Those You Make to Yourself
July 20, 2021
Itís easy to SAY weíre going to do something in the moment. Itís also easy to make excuses and not make it happen when the time comes.

Itís harder to make sure to follow through with things. Sometimes weíre tired. Sometimes we realize itís going to take more time or effort than originally though. Sometimes thereís something else weíd rather do.

Being a person of your word builds character.

It also matters when you make commitments to yourself. Itís easy to say that itís not affecting someone else, they wonít know youíre not following through, youíll try again later.
Who's on Your All-Star Team?
July 15, 2021
We humans are complicated beings. There are so many aspects to the lives we live each day.

Makes sense that we benefit from surrounding ourselves with a strong team of professionals in every area. We canít do it all on our own. And werenít meant to. Thatís what communityís all about!

And I donít mean just trained pros who we pay to take care of us.

Yes, we need those people. They might teach us something we can apply to life, support our bodies and minds when they are out of sync, or help keep the kinks out to stay in balance.

But we also need a slew of other folks who just care for us and help us through by listening, sharing a meal, telling us how they see it, making us laugh. Just people being people who care about who we are and who we want to be.

On a team, everyone has their specialties. Each person adds value according to their strengths matched with whatís needed. A strong team is a well-rounded one made up of various skills. Everyone contributes and no job is too small because they are all necessary.

Evaluate your team.

Who are the people in your life who you already appreciate?

Who might you benefit from who arenít around now? Where can you find those people to add to your team?

Make your team a strong one to win at life!
Live_life_on_purposeLive Life on Purpose, Not by Accident
July 14, 2021
So often we sit back and let life happen to us.

We make choices every day that either keep us where we are or move us toward something new.

Decide which things are already phenomenal that you want to maintain and which might need a little (or big!) nudge toward something even better.

Get out there and take control of your life so that you can be proud of the choices youíve made and the accomplishments youíve worked toward.

Be the one to strike your own match when youíre ready to light that fire. Donít wait for someone else to strike it for you. You might be waitingÖand waitingÖand waiting.

Need help striking that match for yourself? Reach out to see if wellness coaching could be one of your resources! Iím here to support you in your journey. 
Happy 90th birthday to my grandma today!

At her birthday party, I looked around at all of the people who love her and whom she has taught to love so well. How blessed we are to have her in our lives as our matriarch!

I also reflected on all of the wisdom that Iíve gathered from her in my many years as her oldest granddaughter. Hopefully I can take some of those tips and treasures and keep them in my heart to live a life as full and long as hers.

I appreciate the wisdom of those who have had so many more experiences than we so that we donít have to learn all of the lessons by trial. Even when they slow down, they are a treasure chest bursting with stories and knowledge that we can add to our own tool chests and memories.

Thank you, Grandma, for all of your love and everything youíve shared with us!
Buddy Bowl -> Buddha Bowl
July 8, 2021
buddha_bowlI love sharing food with people. I love having people eat food in my kitchen. I love enjoying meals out. I just love food and people.

One of my besties would say ďfood, fellowship and funĒ. We subscribe to that.

This is the meal that came out of an evening of exercise and dinner with my cousins.

Itís kind of a lot to prepare for myself, but while I got the riced broccoli and protein (tofu today) prepped and sauteed, cousins chopped radishes, red cabbage, carrots and avocado to layer in the middle. Thanks, guys!
OopsÖforgot to buy cilantro.

We topped it all off with a sweet, savory, citrusy dressing and refueled our bodies after our workout.

Not only was it delicious, but we had lots of fun during the whole process, chatting and creating together.

I canít wait until next week!
Thrive on Challenge and Change:
Nothing Brilliant Comes out of Stagnation
July 5, 2021
We just celebrated a holiday that was based on CRAVING change and fighting for it. They didnít shy away. They created a situation that brought about what we have today through overcoming challenges and creating the changes they wanted to see.

We continue to change and face challenges today. As a country. As members of various groups. As individuals.
Challenge and change is a part of life.

You can hide from it and avoid the change, but itís going to come for you sooner or later.

Instead of fighting it, use it as opportunity to grow and become the best version of you.

Whatever comes your way, see it as a way to take the you you are today and transform just a little more to become who you want to be tomorrow.
The Tortoises and I Share a Meal?
July 3, 2021
salad--me_and_tortoiseItíd be harder to tell if they were on the same kind of plate, but yes, my tortoises and I often eat almost the exact same salad for lunch!

In the wild, animals eat the foods that benefit their bodies the most. They instinctively know what will give them the nutrients they need to survive. The areas where they naturally live provide the foods that make up their most natural diet.

They prefer foods that are organic and unprocessed.

Our bodies prefer this too.

Even though humans have processed and modified foods to make them easy to grow, transport and look ďperfectĒ, there are still ways to make better choices.

Opt to eat foods that are closest to their most natural state.

Ones that are either not at all or minimally processed. Ones that look the same in the store as they do while growing.

Some people think healthy food has to be boring. But you can mix and match them in so many ways to create scrumptious meals and snacks! And add a variety of spices to make things interesting.

Fresh foods are delicious. Fresh foods are most healthy. Fresh foods give you the vitamins you need for your body to function naturally.

When my tortoises and I have almost identical, colorful, natural meals, I know that weíre ALL getting nutrients we need to feel good and look good.
What Happens IN You is More Important Than What Happens TO You
July 1, 2021
What happens TO you can be a catalyst.

You have innumerable ways to respond to outside forces and conditions. The way you respond not only says something about who you are but also determines who you become.

Use every situation as an opportunity to be the person you want to be, in your thoughts and your actions.
In the Face of a Challenge, Act Like It's Impossible to Fail
June 29, 2021
So often we think of all of the reasons that something wonít work out.eat_an_elephant  Whatís really the risk of trying?

Often you have more to gain from at least trying than sitting and wishing. Youíll probably learn something or build grit and resilience or build relationships or find a more fitting thing. OR ALL of these!

If you go out and act like thereís no way you can fail, you will have success in one way or another!

For me, itís my new coaching gig.

What have you been putting off that you just need to get up and try?
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
June 28, 2021
It has been HOT! And Iím in Ohio, so I canít imagine places like Texas.

Depending on what types of activities you do outdoors, itís important to plan to keep your body happy and healthy.

Remember to:

-drink plenty of HYDRATING fluids
-check the temp to make sure youíre prepared ahead of time
-wear clothing that keeps you cool
-plan time of day appropriately for activities
-protect your skin from too much sun
-be aware of sun vs. shade
-most importantly, listen to your body and give it what it needs
I finally went shopping to fill the fridge at the new house. I havenít done serious shopping in over a month because I wanted to try to clear some things out to not have to move them.

I love grocery shopping. I donít just endure it. I LOVE it. So much that I was a Shipt shopper one summer, grocery shopping and delivering groceries for other people. LOVED. IT.

I love looking at all of the possibilities. I love thinking about the meals Iíll make next week. I love picking out fresh veggies and interesting cheeses.

When I shopped for other people, though, I realized some of the crazy things that are out there. Some ďfoodsĒ I had no idea about. I was totally amazed. And kind of disappointed.

So many healthy foods have become NOT healthy with the processing and huge ingredient list with weird words (that even I donít know as a word lover). It actually made me wish I could not only shop for these people but become their own personal chef as well!

Okay, so I couldnít do that, but it sure made me appreciate what I know about food and cooking to be able to make myself yummy, healthy meals mooost days of the week.

After a month of just making do with whatever I had, Iím looking forward to getting out the cutting board, chopping up some veggies and hearing them sizzle in the skillet.

Those whole, unprocessed (or minimally) foods are the ones that our bodies crave. They have the vitamins and nutrients that we need to keep us functioning in the best way possible.

We can love our bodies and keep them running well for years to come by fueling them with the most nutritious options possible.

What fresh foods do you love to eat? Which ones are on the menu this week? Buen provecho!
I LOVE foam rolling. I used to HATE stretching. All the way back to elementary school gym class. Stretch first? Letís get to the fun game! Stretch after? Ugh. Let me get on with my day.

As a kid, my body sucked it up and recovered anyway. Then a few years (or decadesÖlol) passed and my body told me something different.

One year I did a challenge where I HAD to do mobility work for at least 10 minutes a day to get my daily points. I wanted to win, so I did a combination of foam rolling and stretching.

Not only did I win the challenge, but my body gave me so much love back.

Mobility work may not change our looks like sculpting muscle and may not look as cool as other activities.

HOWEVER, taking a few minutes before a workout to do a little mobilization work can get muscles ready and help us to move more efficiently which can give us a stronger lift.

And afterwards, stretching those muscles can help them to return to their normal state. For the rest of the day, you may find that youíre not as stiff and your body can move more comfortably.

Mobility work takes lots of different forms.

Foam rolling or massage balls help your muscles to let go of tension and ďknotsĒ. While rolling, hold any tight spots for at least 30 seconds to give muscles time to realize that itís safe to release the tension. This is great for anytime.
Active stretching includes moving muscles to a stretched state but only holding for a couple of seconds and repeating several times. These stretches are ideal pre-workout.

Static stretching includes muscle lengthening stretches that you hold for a while. To get those tight spots, hold for 30-120 seconds at the spot where the muscle is stretching, but not uncomfortably so. You are teaching your body that the stretch is safe, so donít make it painful! Static stretches are great for after your workout and after foam rolling.

Find some time for some mobility work in your day! Give it a try and see how it starts to affect your body.
If you need any help figuring out what might work for you, let me know. Iíd love to help out!
What Can You Control?  What Can You Accept?
June 23, 2021
This year has been cray cray with all of the changing rules, updating science, work and school modifications.
As a teacher, I dreaded every time they said there was something different. WHAT?? Just after I finally got my schedule down, learned a bunch of new strategies to maximize whatever format we were following, helped families know what to do, things would change.

New rules, new strategies, more communication with parents. And thatís a short list for what it actually means. Lol.
What I learned, though, was that wherever I wasóhome online, school online, school in classóthe most important thing was to make that place mine. Make it a place where I could do my best. A place where I could take a breath, look around and know that it was mine.

Maybe there were lots of things out of my control, but that was one thing that was mine to create.
And now itís summer, so Iím hanging out in my hammock writing this to get away from all of the packed boxes in my house. My house may be a mess right now, but this is my mini getaway to work in a place that I choose.

We can be the masters of our own life, within reason. There may be things you canít control. Itís healthy to accept those things and take charge of what is in your own hands.

What do you do to make your space your own? What do you love to surround yourself with to create your own haven, whether at home or at work?
Choice Day:  Gettin' My HIIT On!
June 22, 2021

in between circuits:Need an idea to get moving today? Try this combo of 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest. Do the circuit 3 times with 1 minute of rest

Whatíd I choose today? I created a circuit that will challenge both my upper and lower body and takes about 30 minutes to complete.
plan. Each week, I lift 4-5 days, have 1-2 choice days that often turn into cardio days and always 1 day off so my body gets the rest it needs and deserves to get me ready for the next week.Todayís a choice day in my lifting

Plie squat
Superman Wís (or pull ups)
Plank up/downs
Box jumps (or step ups)
Side plank reach through
Bicep curl in/out
Curtsy squat
Plank walkout push up
Tricep extension

If you need to adjust, you can use more or less weight, increase or decrease the intervals or do fewer or more circuts.

Get sweating!
Self Care is NOT Selfish; It's ESSENTIAL!
June 21, 2021
We hear ďself careĒ all the time. Do we really stop to think of what that means and why itís really important, not just some frou frou idea?

YOU need self care, especially if you take care of a family or work in an area of service where you are giving of yourself!

Often, we try to be there for everyone else but forget that we need support, too. We spend all of our timeÖgo, Go, GO to make sure the people around us have what they need and donít stop to think about what WE need.
What we need may not seem like a big deal, so we often shove it to the side and say ďlaterĒ. But taking a minute or two (or 30) to give to ourselves can help us to fill our own tank. If our tank is running on empty, we will eventually poop out and not be able to give to others either.

Self care could be:

-a little nap
-a meditation
-a cold drink after a tough day
-time set aside to check in on your goals
-a celebration of something youíve accomplished
-time with your favorite people (or animals)
-making time for yourself to do what YOU want to do

There are endless ways to show yourself care! The options depend on what you feel like gives you a break from the grind and rejuvenates you.

So whatever your goals are, whoever else you plan to put before yourself, take a minute today to check in. What do YOU need? When can you find time to fill your own tank?
Balance Work and Play
June 19, 2021
Date night! I love going out with my honey on Friday nights! Weíre both into healthy living, so itís nice to let go for a night and have some fun.

Since we are healthy and working the rest of the week, we enjoy our fun time even more. Part of being healthy is getting that balance between work and play.

Iíve recently learned how to play darts and have been improving my bowling game. Itís fun to try something new thatís active. Itís important not to take ourselves too seriously while we learn, so that itís still fun even when losing terribly. Haha! Itís all part of the process.

Working on learning something new together also creates a bonding experience as we try to figure things out, laugh at ourselves and celebrate our small victories.

How do you balance work and play in your life? What would you LIKE to do to stay balanced?
This has been a crazy week, but I am finally all moved into my new/old house. Whew!

A glass of wine with friends can definitely be a good stress relief after a hard week! On the daily, though, I turn to exercise to relieve stress and get my mind back to a good place.

Even if Iíve already had a good workout that day but just need a pick-me-up, a little walk or jog can help to get the heart pumping, boost endorphins and serotonin to reset my brain and burn a few extra calories.

Feeling stressed? Get moving! Whatever gets you moving, do it! You could:

-take a bike ride
-do some yoga
-put some music on and dance around
-choose a workout from your favorite streaming service
-hit a punching bag or do some shadowboxing
-work on abs while watching an episode of your current binge show

Whatever you choose to do, exercise can help with the stress factor, your mood, your sleep and even your own attitude about yourself. Whatís to argue with?
Consider it a Fail or Consider it a Humility Check
June 14, 2021
I may or may not have completely smashed my face into a window leaving the gym yesterday morning. I turned from setting down the cleaner spray bottle and could have sworn the door was just a little closer.

The kicker? My boyfriend was holding the real door open for me about 2 feet to the left. Oops.

I didnít even turn around to see who saw. I could definitely only see the stars swirling around my head and the tears filling my eyes from the instant pain.

At least itís not broken. Again. I donít think.

Oh, well. Lesson learned for next time.
Sunday=Reset Day
June 13, 2021
Itís Sunday! For me, itís the day to reset after a day off of lifting on Saturday and not eating quite so clean over the weekend.

I like to start with a good strong legs workout to get my body moving. I can use yesterdayís pizza and ice cream for some extra energy in the gym to move weight and get those endorphins flowing. Thatíll put me in a good mood for the rest of the day to get back on track for this week.

And todayís a good day to fill myself with some muscle building, cell regenerating, system cleansing nutrients. Back to lean proteins, lots of veggies and no extra sugar. Au natural, baby.

Life is full of ebbs and flows. Times of gettiní it and more relaxing times. Perfect for the balance of life and keeping your body and mind on even keel.

Thereís usually no good that comes from getting down on ourselves for making different choices for a couple of days. There will always come the day to get back on it and reset to keep moving toward the goal.

When do you reset? What rejuvenates you to get back on track after a little break?
Take Care of Business, but Take Care of You, Too!
June 12, 2021
Life is my workout! Who needs weights and mats and machines every day when you have everyday life challenges?Sometimes the best workout is a functional one.

During this move, not only am I packing up MY stuff, but the pets need their stuff too. Cat? No problem. Bowls, litter box, an empty box to sit inÖgreat!

Tortoises? As easy as they are to care for on the day to day, they are super high maintenance when it comes to moving all of their crap.

Today itís moving their outdoor stones to the new place to set up their new enclosure. All hundredish of them. Awesome. (But huge shout out to my amazing cuz and her husband for their physical labor and company)
We work out for lots of reasons: to feel good, health benefits, to look good and to be able to function in everyday life. Moving these stones is what Iíve been training for!

ButÖI need to remember, just like when Iím in the gym, to make sure to stay connected to my body. Whatís it telling me? Am I bracing my core for the next lift? Am I using my body in a way that will strengthen it and maybe be sore but not tweaked tomorrow? Am I getting enough water in the heat?

Be in touch with your body. You are the one who knows it best. Listen to it and get to know it even better so that you can give it what it needs so that it will perform for you.

You are your own strengthener, healer, motivator, cultivator. The better you get to know yourself, the more you can succeed and live your best life!

Donít feel like you know yourself well? Itís never too late to start! Feel what you feel within your body. Notice what kinds of thoughts fill your mind. Feel the pull of things you want to go after.

Not sure where to start? Iím happy to help! Feel free to message me for a session to see if coaching might help you get on track.
I May Be Crazy...But I LOVE Check In Day!
June 11, 2021
Some people dread checking in. I admitÖthere are times when Iím glad no one else sees the numbers. I know when Iíve eaten a lot of sweets and the numbers arenít going to hide it like my sweats will. When Iím on a mission, though, I still donít skip the check in, even when I know it wonít be pretty.

I love to see progress in general. I set goals, make lists and check things off. Lists are definitely my jam (thanks, Mom!). There are goals, though, that donít necessarily have lists, but we still want to see progress being made, not just, ďEh, I think Iím getting thereÖĒ

For example, I track my fitness in a few ways:

1óHow do my clothes fit compared to last time? Iím pretty sure I know which jeans feel good to spend a night out with my guy, eating and playing darts, which ones are for just standing looking cute but not much moving or sitting and which ones just look good on the hanger.

2óWeekly scale checkóI have a pretty good relationship with the scale, so I check every day just out of curiosity of what the scale does, but itís really only the Friday one that counts for my check in.

3óMonthly measurementsóThis is the one that matters most to me. Measuring different spots on my body tells me how Iíve progressed and what I still need to do.

When you have a goal that you REALLY want to reach, whatís the best way to track it? What will really show progress youíve made so that you can keep up the good work or make a few tweaks to the plan? How often do you check inónot obsessive helicopter mom but not putting it off because ďI might not be there yetĒ?

Whatís your favorite way to track a goal youíre working on?
10 Minutes with Nature:  Get ALL the Benefits
June 10, 2021
Truth: I DONíT love working in the garden. I enjoy parts of it and I love the benefits of the work, though, so I continue to plant flowers in the beds and a few veggies and herbs just for the beauty and the freshness of walking out to pick some tomatoes and basil for my salad.

What I DO love once I get out there and get busy, even just for a few minutes of light weeding (except itís rarely light because I wait too long) is the other stuff that comes with getting dirt under my fingernails. What are the benefits?

-a bit of grounding to the earth
-vitamin D and little bit of color the sun provides
-the feel of the dirt and plants in my hands, knowing Iím cultivating life
-movement of my body to burn a few extra calories
-a sense of accomplishment, stepping back and seeing the gardenís beauty
-a bit of meditative time with an outdoor soundtrack

And once Iím ​already hot and dirty, I usually find more work to do out there just to enjoy it all a bit longer. Itís just the getting started thatís hard. Once Iím in it, I take a deep breath and remember why I planted those damn plants in the first place.
When the cat meows at you to take a break (or the kids, or your husband, or a friend), you may not have hours to spend.

HOWEVER, 5 little minutes can be just enough to let someone know you love them and give your mind and body a mini-break that it needs to keep getting things done.

Iíll cat nap for a few and then get right back to it.

The catís happy, Iíve stopped to savor a moment in my day and what I need to get done is still there. Five minutes didnít hurt it a bit.

This could be for a pet, but also for a child, a friend, a spouse or it might just be your stiff neck asking for a little stretch.
Research has shown that mini-breaks are actually good for productivity, so consider it an investment in yourself, others AND your work!
Jazz Up Any Activity!
June 8, 2021
Not only am I starting this adventure of changing careers, but Iím getting ready to move to another house.
I feel like so often life doesnít just give us just one thing at a time to take care of. (Well, and maybe sometimes we are the ones who put it on ourselves. Lol!)

Iíd prefer to be doing something other than packing, but itís all part of the process and all needs done. So what do I do? I set the music to shuffle my favorites, sing a little, dance a little and get to packing.

Take a not-so-desirable task and make it more manageable by adding your own fun twist to it.

Whatís your favorite way to jazz up a not-so-fun thing that just needs done? Iíd love to hear so that I can add more tools to my own toolbelt!
Today Is the Day to Take the Next Step
June 7, 2021
Sometimes when I think about what Iím trying to accomplish, it just feels so big and unreachable. I almost want to just stay in bed a little longer hoping it will work itself out.

THENÖI remember that I am the one I have given this task because I believe I can do it.

I remember that each small step is what is going to get me there. Today is the day to just take the next step. The one after that can wait for later.

Each step I take makes me stronger. It makes me more resilient. It puts me one step closer, boosting my confidence just a little more.

Whatís your goal for the day? Whatís that one small step thatís going to put you just a little (or a lot) closer to what youíre trying to do for yourself?
The other day I realized that I'm trying to rush through these last few weeks of May.  I know I'm rushing to get things done, since God knows there's SO much to get done--getting the house ready to sell, figuring out what the heck I'm going to do for a job once the school year's over, cleaning out and packing up my classroom for (hopefully) the last time ever.  Not only am I busy making lists and working like a maniac to cross things off, but I'm just trying to get through it all as fast as possible so that it's over and done. 

Then I realized...although there's a lot that I want to just put behind me, there's a lot that I will probably look back on and miss later.  I'll miss this house and my neighbors.  I'll miss those students and their antics and sweetnesses.  I'll miss the stability and regular schedule of my teaching job.  To get things done, I need the lists and the laser focus to get it done, but I also need time to SAVOR some of those things that I don't want to miss.  Savoring is one way to make life enjoyable.  To lock into your mind some of those things you don't want to forget.  To tuck them away for another day when you want to bring back that good feeling you had.  In positive psychology, it's one of the ways to pursue happiness through mindful enjoyment of being in the moment.

in_the_creekWhen you savor, you take a moment to notice.  You open your senses and enjoy what the world is telling you.  You notice the feelings that it invokes and awakens within you.  You stop the busyness of the moment and be IN the moment to take your experience to the next level of awareness.  A yummy shiver runs down my spine as I think about the enjoyment that savoring brings and look forward to the next time I can stop and just love the living I'm doing. It's like imagining that ice cream sundae and my mouth starting to water because I remember that last delicious spoonful that I had last weekend.  Ahhhh...the remembering is almost as good as the real thing.

As this week begins, I'm already thinking about the times that I'm going to savor.  When I sit next to a first grader to listen to him sound out a word, I'm going to watch that face as his eyes look up, squint
ing to hear the next sound and notice how he's become independent, using what he's learned this year.  When I'm home for a personal day to put the finishing touches on the house for showings, I'm going to spend some time in the hammock on the front porch, watching the chipmunk who runs back and forth doing I don't know what and waiting to see if the first hummingbirds of the season will stop in for a sip of nectar.  I'll also drop in at the neighbors' for a cup of coffee and a chat.  As I write this article, I'm thinking about the time when I can share wellness with others as part of my everyday life.  During each of these times, I'll set my phone aside, not look at the time and just enjoy the moment as it is.

Savoring is a gift I give myself, both for the current moment and to take as a memory to relive that savoring in the future when I just need that extra boost.  In these last weeks of May, I'm going to savor as many moments as I can because it will be over before I know it and I don't want to just sail through to get it over with.  I want to LIVE it.  Be IN it.

What moments in your life do you want to savor?  When can you stop to notice a moment that you've having that you just might want to take with you to remember later?  If you want a happier you, it's a small thing to just stop and think about how the moment feels, what you're enjoying about it and how it's tickling your senses.  Get out there and find a moment to savor today!
Transformation = small steps + big goals
March 18, 2021
Everyone's health journey is different.  They start at different times.  They start for different reasons.  They follow different paths.  You may have started in high school or at age 35.  You may have wanted to fit into a dress for a wedding or a bathing suit for summer.  Maybe you had a health scare and are trying to solve some of the mysteries of the body to reverse a condition.  Some people rush in and change a lot at once; others take their time, strengthening the base and building from there.  No journey is better than another, as long as the direction is most consistently toward the goal.  MOST consistently?  Yes.  Often there are setbacks, but as long as you're taking more steps forward than backward, you're on your way.  
Although I've been interested in wellness in different ways since my teenage years, the path to where I am now has been slow and steady.  At the beginning, I just wanted to be fit and to have people notice how healthy I looked, so I lifted weights and ate foods to support my muscles.  Then I decided that maybe there was a difference between eating for fitness and eating for overall health, so I adjusted my nutrition to make sure I was getting the nutrients I needed to support both my fitness and health goals.  Later, I started to have some injuries, mostly from overuse of my body, so I finally understood that value of stretching and mobility work.  Sprinkled the whole way through, I've worked on different angles of mental health and strength, depending on what was needed at the time.  

Every step of the way I always think I'm the healthiest I've been and the healthiest I'll be.  I'm usually about half right.  And then I learn something new.

This is why I believe that small steps plus big goals equal transformation.  With a goal and a bit of passion aimed at that goal, a person's desire to succeed is a powerful motivator.  Each challenge has knowns and unknowns.  Start with the knowns.  As you explore them, you'll most likely being accruing a list of questions.  Your curiosities can guide your next steps to tackle.  You can do your own research or seek out a professional who can help you bring you to the next level.

As you make each change, it will bring you closer to your goal.  Some changes may become habits more quickly than others, but each one will put you a little closer to success and you will be strengthening your resilience and learning more about yourself through the process.

Check out my recipe for success!  With these steps, you can't go wrong!  Start with one small step and you'll be amazed at your transformation!