Tuesday, July 6, 2021

July's Eye is on How You See Yourself, Body Image

Photo from the vulnerable video I posted

On my social media last week, I put up a post being vulnerable and alluding to my body image issues, struggles with food, some of the dark places I have been in regards to my relationship with myself and my body. If you go back through old posts on my blog, you will read several posts where I talk about my struggles with hating my body and some steps I took in overcoming these struggles. Here is one such post. For the month of July we are going to explore body image issues and the real struggles that exist with eating disorders and body dysmorphia, I am not talking at you, these are roads I have walked. This is a part of my journey. It has helped shape who I am today. Walking the road and being willing to put in the work and overcome these demons is a life's journey for me.  

In many ways, I have removed myself from the influence of social media by doing the work to overcome my demons, I don't notice the body images issues as much these days outside of myself. I know orthorexia is still rampant in the fitness industry, I hope to have a positive influence over this. Are others still pushing a super lean, anorexic model/actress still being used? Maybe we have grown from 10-20 years ago when things seemed to be so crazy? Maybe because I removed myself to such lengths for my recovery, I don't notice what is going on? I have changed what is happening in my own head so things don't impact me the same way as much. I choose to get some help. I put in the work. If you are struggling, you can have a healthier relationship with yourself and your body. It takes work. It takes being willing to see things differently. Face your demons and struggles head on and fight like hell. It is a journey and a long road. Recovery is a lifetime. It is 100% worth the fight. The freedom on the other side is a beautiful thing.

I want to focus this month on how you see yourself. Begin working on loving yourself, not in some self centered, your better than everyone else way or the other end of the spectrum, I love myself just as I am and I don't need to change. True love of yourself is willing to be brutally honest with yourself, your good, faults, failings, what is staring you back in the mirror, stop making excuses for yourself and deciding you want to become the best version of yourself. This is true self love. Until you truly love yourself, you cannot make lasting change. We have to truly love ourselves to make lasting, life long changes to overcome our darkness. These are hard things to hear, but it is the only way to work on yourself, face your demons head on. Facing your demons begins with facing the truth about yourself. It is how I have worked through my struggles. I stopped playing the games, wishful thinking, excuses, mind games, seeing things that weren't really there, all of it. I faced these demons head on. It is hard. You can do hard.  

Monday, June 28, 2021

Wrapping up June's Challenge, Insulin

Cool, refreshing summer drink

To wrap up these last several days of June and begin heading into July I thought I would give you some more ideas of foods that will help keep your insulin stable, deeply nourish your body to celebrate this 4th of July! Are you excited to celebrate America's Birthday?!!!!

Food you can bring and not be the weird one bringing healthy food to a party, is meat. Beef, chicken, pork, fish, lamb, goat, maybe you are the odd one for lamb and goat. The point remains, by bringing meat to a party you have food you can eat that is satisfying, satiating, deeply nourishes your body, doesn't cause much ruckus with your insulin levels, will give you energy to party the night away. Most parties have meat anyway. American food, hamburgers and hot dogs, we are celebrating America after all! Eat an extra hamburger patty and hold the bun and chips.

Fruit. The great thing about fruit is the water and vitamins, minerals in fruit. This will help replenish the water you are loosing from sweating, plus the electrolytes being lost. It isn't only about drinking your water, eating your water brings more nutrients to the party and helps this water get into your cells as well. Watermelon and your other melons are great options. Have you ever been so thirsty but water just didn't quench your thirst? Then you eat some watermelon and your thirst is quenched. That is the benefit of eating your water, you are getting the water plus vitamins and minerals your body needs to rehydrate. Put some salt on it for better results. Who doesn't love seeing a large bowl of watermelon on a hot summer day at a party?! Instead of being the crazy healthy eater, you will be everyone's favorite for bringing cold melon.

Veggies, the thing to be mindful of with veggies is what you are putting on them. Be sure to avoid dressing that have hydrogenated oils, vegetable seed oils. You can slice cucumber and tomatoes and put them in olive oil and vinegar with salt. Grill veggies and put butter, salt and fresh herbs on them. 

There are healthy options for deserts, berries and fresh whipped cream with dark chocolate shavings. Frozen fruit sickles. I will link a few desert recipes for you.

Fresh, cold cantaloupe and full fat yogurt 

Primal Brownies

Keto angel food cake

Real Fruit Popsicles

Alcohol if you are choosing to drink, don't drive after drinking. Drink responsibly. If you are a beer drinker, go for the micro beers, beers that have been fermented. Use carbonated waters without sugar as a mixer instead of the sugar laden mixers. Freeze fruit and put that in drinks to keep them cold and add flavor. Blend frozen fruit into drinks for a cool treat, these can be alcohol free. Sangrias are another great option. Use fresh fruits and teas made from flowers in place of the sugary juices. Sparkling wine is a thing, use these for the fizz instead of sodas or top off with a spritzer.  

Just because you are eating healthy and minding your insulin doesn't mean you have to sacrifice everything or be the crazy one eating "healthy". You can enjoy, nourish your body, lead others to healthier eating and celebrate.

Obesity is a disease of malnourishment.
Happy 4th of July!
Love you guys

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

A Different Way to Look at Stabilizing Insulin

 With all this talk about insulin and what it does in our bodies, the good and not so good, what can we do? Is there anything we can do to correct the issues? 

Why yes there is! We are not helpless and bound to be stuck in a raging ocean of insulin levels. 

Here are several simple and effective steps you can take. I did say simple, not necessarily easy. It is worth it:

  • become fat adapted 
  • stop eating so many carbs, they shouldn't make up the largest majority of your food intake
  • eat more protein
  • move frequently at a slow pace
  • lift heavy things
  • sprint once in awhile
  • supplement smartly, there are some great supplements to help the body through this to better deal with carbs. 
How do you become a fat burning beast? We have to remind the body how to burn fat for fuel again. Remember this is our natural setting as human. The best way to do this is taking the 21 Day Primal Challenge. For 21 days you are going to eat like our ancestors, deeply nourishing fats, proteins and some carbs from seasonal berries and veggies. You want your carb load below 100 grams but probably not far below 50 grams. The majority of your food intake is going to come from animal proteins and fats. Avoid all processed foods. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Insulin and Our Mitochondria

Inside our cells

We couldn't have a series on insulin without talking about the mighty mitochondria and roles it plays in insulin. Go google this and you will be reading per reviewed medical journals. 

Our mitochondria are absolutely vital to our health. Without them, well we wouldn't be able to survive. They are pretty important. 

What are mitochondria? Simply put they are our energy source, our power plants in our cells. They take nutrients we eat and convert them into ATP, adenosine triphosphate, energy. ATP generates energy for cellular function. We need the energy from ATP for thinking, brain function, sprinting, walking, lifting heavy things, pumping blood through out our bodies, reading this post you are using ATP. We need ATP for pretty much everything. Without this process of our mitochondria producing ATP from our food, we wouldn't be alive. A good reason to be fascinated with them.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Why Insulin is Important for Nutrient Absorption

A recap from last week, when insulin levels are high or low, we are stressing the body, causing it to be in fight or flight. High insulin is fat storage signal to the body. More specifically, when we are consuming more sources of sugar from carbohydrates or other sugar forms than we are able to burn and use in the cells, the excess is converted to fat and stored on the body. Locked and trapped away by these high levels. When insulin is low, our bodies send signals of distress needing to raise those insulin levels causing a host of issues. These are not good times for the body. Who wants to live in a raging ocean all the time?

Today we are going to discuss another role of insulin, signaling the cell to intake nutrients.

Insulin signals our cells to intake amino acids, the basics building blocks of protein, and fat into the liver and muscle cells. These are needed in the cell to do the work of creating you, your body, muscles, organs, energy and so much more. Absolutely important for these nutrients to enter the cell and insulin helps facilitate this. Like I said in last weeks post, we need insulin, can't live without it. It is the excess we have flowing throughout the body because of glucose causing the issues.  

As you can imagine, if one way our nutrients are brought into our cells and our cells cannot hear insulin's signal from our cells being full of glucose or an over whelming amount of insulin constantly knocking on the door of the cells, our cells can't function like they should. You could be hitting your protein goals of eating your body weight in ounces or more every day. If that protein cannot get into the cell and be used for growth and repair your diligence in hitting the protein numbers is diminished. Not waisted but doesn't have the full impact it could have by being insulin sensitive, your cells can hear and respond to insulin's call. Insulin resistance is a source of  cell malnourishment. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

June's Challenge, All About Insulin

Elk burger

For the month of June we are going to spend time learning about some of the roles insulin plays in the body and why having stable insulin and being insulin sensitive is important to our over all health.

Usually when we hear about insulin is it is in regards to diabetes. However, insulin is responsible for many other roles within the body. It is an important hormone that plays a major role in storing or using body fat, nutrients entering the cell, inflammation, and so much more. Insulin is vital for life. Insulin is produced by the pancreas in response to our eating carbohydrates, these turn into sugar in the body referred to as glucose. Insulin's role is to whisk this glucose out of the blood stream because if left in the blood stream, glucose becomes extremely toxic to the body. Let's talk about insulin's other roles.

We are going to discuss insulin's role in the body in regards to energy and fat burning today.

When we follow the norm today, we are told carbs are our primary source of fuel, the body prefers to burn carbs. In my opinion this has had devastating impacts on our health and I disagree. Does this mean you have to agree with me, no. I do hope you are willing to see another side of health and be open to different thoughts and learning.

I prefer to be fat adapted, metabolically flexible. Meaning my body is able to use the glucose it is given through my food and once this is dealt with, it can begin to burn fat for fuel, either from food or my stored body fat. This is the natural setting of the animal, human and otherwise. When we look to our ancestors, animal protein and fat were their main food sources. Think about it, they did not have mass food production facilities, acres of planted crops, no grocery store to pick up all this processed food, grains, fruit and veggies available year round. They ate what they could hunt, gather and preserve. If you need to eat every 2-4 hours to maintain your energy levels you wouldn't last long in the wild. This makes carbs as the main energy source not likely.

Monday, May 17, 2021

May Challenge, Where Do Your Nutrients Come From?


It is pretty awesome when you can go back to a post years later and still agree with what you wrote all these years later. I wrote this in May of 2013. I might have a different analogy to say the same thing, but the rest still holds true all these years later. 

"Challenge yourself to eat healthier and healthier because the better your food, the healthier you will be. What we eat, becomes who we are. So, if you are eating, processed, dead, pseudo food that is lacking in vitamins, minerals, nutrients, the building blocks for life, protein, how can you expect your body to function at the best? It cannot. When our food is lacking nutrients, we are lacking those same nutrients and then our bodies begin to fall apart. Disease, fatigue, not sleeping well, hormones not function properly, brain fog, depression, the list goes on.... For the thousands of reactions that take place in our bodies, we have to have the right chemicals to make it happen.

For example, if you were going to build something, we will keep it simple, say a table, and you do not have everything you need to make said table, it is not going to turn out well. What if you were missing nails or screws, something to hold all the boards in place? Maybe you have a few, but not enough to hold the table secure, it is not going to be able to support itself and will fall. How about the tools to build the table, like a hammer, screw driver, sand paper, a tape measure, it will make it very difficult to build that table wont it?

For us, the raw materials and tools to build our bodies, is the food we eat. When something is missing or not there, our bodies have to try and make due with what they have. The results can be devastating. The best way to make sure our bodies have everything they need so we can Thrive is eating a nutrient, dense, rich diet of real, whole food."

Where your mitochondria go, your health goes.
All my love

Monday, May 10, 2021

May's Challenge, Building a Recipe Box Hacks


Guilty as charged. I am a junky, reading and collecting recipes. I have hundreds saved in my Pinterest account, magazines, boxes, one might say it is a problem. I call it research. I love sitting down with a glass of wine and going through Bon Appetit! A simple joy and pleasure of mine. There are great benefits to reading recipes, you learn about combinations of seasonings, spices, acid, sweet, heat, new ways of cooking food, new ideas to try. It is fantastic research and learning. If you want to improve your cooking skills I suggest spending some time reading recipes.  

The struggle when you have hundreds, thousands of recipes, too many can be too many. They do begin to run together, sound similar and can overwhelm you. Find recipes you like and read through others to learn.

Two things I do to help with meal time prep and building a recipe box:
weekly menu
have themes for each day:
  • Monday- Grill/Bake
  • Tuesday- Tacos
  • Wednesday- Soup/Salad
  • Thursday- International day
  • Friday- Fish
  • Saturday- Try a New Recipe
  • Sunday- Steak
I truly made most of this up, a few of them I do follow. Come up with themes that will work for your needs, this is an idea to get you started. The benefits of this, you have an idea already each each day what you are going to make. It takes less time to prep and make a menu than if you come up with different things each day. Or you don't plan at all and are left going out to eat consistently. 

This will also help you with pantry and freezer items to keep on hand. You are low on taco seasonings, pick some up the next time you are at the store. You will begin to learn what you need to keep on hand. When you have items on hand you cook with and meal ideas already planned, you are less likely to be left with nothing in the fridge or no time because you don't know what you are going to make and have to go to the store because you don't have ingredients on hand. Easier at this point, order pizza.   

Sitting down and making a menu for a week or two, going shopping once saves time in the long run. Yes, it is some work up front, but you save time by already having the menu and ingredients on hand. 
This also helps with batch cooking. Say on Monday when you grill or bake meat, cook extra meat. Use it for leftovers at work but also on your salad/soup, or tacos. This will help make these meals even faster for you. Meat is already cooked, bring out the tacos ingredients and in 15 minutes or less you are eating dinner. Cooking more meat upfront takes some of the load off for other days. You are already baking or have the grill fired up, it doesn't take much more time to cook several extra pieces or add another protein to the cooking for another meal later in the week. Time saver. 

What tips do you have for building a recipe box? Have you tried any of these before, have they worked? 

Where your mitochondria goes, your health goes.
All my love

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Tuesday Recipe: Primal Granola

Grain free granola, full fat yogurt

Primal Granola
A variety of nuts and seeds, what you like
Flax seeds 
Chia seeds
Sunflower seeds

Seasonings and spices
Cinnamon, couple of teaspoons
Cloves, 1 teaspoon
Ginger, 2 teaspoons
Nutmeg, shake or two, optional
Allspice, shake or two, optional
Salt, 1 teaspoon
Coconut oil, 2-3 tablespoons
Honey, to taste 

Baking pan, one with an edged
Parchment paper to line the pan with

Preheat oven to 375.
Blend the nuts, seeds and spices together. You don't want to grind it into powder, leave junks of the nuts. Place in a bowl.
In either a double bowler or in the microwave, melt the coconut oil, honey and salt together. Once melted, beat in the egg and all spices/seasonings, blend well. Pour over the nuts and seeds and mix well. Spread out on the lined baking pan.
Place in the oven. It needs about 20-30 minutes to bake, depending on how much you have in the pan. If you made a larger batch, you can split it between two pans to bake faster and more even.
Every 10-15 minutes, take the mixture out and stir around. Place back into the oven. Continue to bake until golden brown and crispy. When baked, let cool. Break it up. Store in an airtight container. 

Serve with fruit, full fat yogurt, milk or eat it by itself. 

When I went mostly grain free with Primal eating and realized my body did not tolerate most grains well and I did better on a lower carb lifestyle, I started to miss granola. It is worth the benefits of not eating grains to me to keep it out of my eating though. In my quest to have something similar, nut and seed "granola" came into my world. This is my take on it! I hope you enjoy deeply nourishing your body with this recipe.

Where your mitochondria go your health goes.
All my love


Monday, May 3, 2021

May's Challenge: Building a Recipe Box, Dry Brining

Simple meal of wild salmon and mango salsa

I am a fan of May. The bitter cold of winter has loosened it's grip, we can still get snow but spring snow is different than winter snow. Flowers are in bloom! The bees are buzzing and pollenating. It begins to warm up, longer days, cool evenings. The heavier winter foods are being replaced by lighter foods. Grills come out. It is a month of transition in my neck of the woods.

With a new month, brings a new challenge! This month we are going to focus on cooking skills, building a recipe box, finding routines to bring simplicity to our lives.  

One of the struggles I uncovered and have set out to solve, too many today do not know how to cook. The generational skill of cooking has all but been lost. 

When it comes to food and cooking, I think there are some ideas we need to put to rest:
Every meal does not need to be a "foodgams".
Meals do not need to be complicated to be nutritious and give our bodies the basics building blocks they need to create us.
Simple meals with whole foods are amazing and can come together quickly.
As a general norm, items from a box with a long list of ingredients are not food.
Food is about nutrient density, intaking the building blocks for health, growth, repair, life, should be the focus.
When you learn some basic cooking skills, how to put flavors together, recipes aren't as important.

Take for example that piece of salmon in the picture.
I use a technique called dry brining. I use it on all meats, keeps them moist, juicy, tender and naturally flavors the meat with salt.
Dry brining in it's simplest terms is simply salting a piece of meat generously on all sides and allowing it to sit for a time. Simple and oh so tasty.
With the salmon, this day I put it with a simple mango salsa.
Other times I make a ginger, lime and honey mixture or a honey, paprika and lemon mixture and cook it in that.
I cook it on the stove in a hot pan and some butter. Sometimes I put in a splash of wine. Simple.
The base stays the same, dry brining. I bring flavors, added nutrients and fun with other whole foods. Bringing in acid, sour, sweet, spicy, savory, what ever floats your boat. 
This meal can be put together in about 20 minutes, depending on your knife skills which can be improved. The salmon does do better in the brine when it has sat longer, a couple of hours. When time is short, you can do it.

For this weeks challenge, try dry brining some meat, beef, chicken, pork, fish, turkey, they all lend nicely to a dry brine.

What you need:
Choice of protein
Kosher salt, preferably, any salt works

Salt the meat generously, you want to be able to see the salt. Be generous, meat loves salt. 
Allow the meat to sit, preferably on a wire rack until the surface is dry. Large cuts of meat can sit and do best in the fridge, uncovered overnight. Cook your meat to your liking.

This technique takes a few tries to get the hang of and how you like it, play with it. The only way you learn something new is to keep trying. 

Where your mitochondria goes your health goes.
All my best

Saturday, May 1, 2021

I Am Verses I Have


I am verses I have. Maybe an odd thing to think about, maybe you never have. Very early on after my diagnose of CRPS and disability, this was a distinction I was able to make for myself. This has made all the difference in the world through this journey. I was able to say, I have CRPS and a disability. I am NOT either. Yes, they shape me and have a dramatic impact on my life, but they are not who I am. By not taking them on as who I am, they don't define me. It is not who I am in my core, my soul. The CRPS and disability have stayed external instead of being internalized, becoming who I am, consuming me and destroying me. When we become these things, they have the ability to destroy us, consume us and turn us into someone we are not. 

Who are you verses what do you have?

I hope this can help on your journey.

Where your mitochondria go your health goes.

Love you guys



Monday, April 26, 2021

April's Challenge, Tasty Fat and Insulin

Breaking fast meal, fat and protein

For the last week of April's challenge on fat, I am going to focus on insulin levels. Maybe seems crazy, but as I say, there is a method to my madness. 

What is insulin? Insulin is a form of a hormone that is produced in the pancreas. Insulin plays many important roles in the body. It is vital to life. Without it we would die. Too high, too low and havoc is wreak throughout the body. If insulin is consistently elevated, our health begins to unravel at the cellular level and beyond. Insulin is kinda a big deal.  

One of the roles of insulin to regulating blood sugar, glucose, in the blood. When you eat carbs and sugars, insulin is produced in response to the glucose. The body uses insulin to take the glucose out of the blood stream and push it into the cells to be used for energy, stored in the muscles or liver, if your stores are full, it is converted to fat and stored on the body as fat. Shuttling out the glucose from our blood stream is important because glucose left in the blood stream can become toxic. We need to flush it out, use it or store it.   

Another role of insulin is regulation of fat storage or break down. Yup, insulin tells your body to either store fat or burn fat for energy. If glucose levels are high in the blood, the insulin being produced and released by the body, keeps fat safely locked away on your body to be burned later for fuel. When insulin levels come back to stable levels, the body can begin to use your fat stores as a source of energy. You have to use glucose first, if it is left in the blood stream it can become toxic to the body. If you continue inputting sugar laden foods, your insulin levels remain high and fat continues to be stored on the body. 

There are many other roles insulin plays in the body, very important roles. We are going to stick with these two for today.

Remember, insulin is important in the body. We have to have it. It is about the levels we have it in. We need enough for all the roles insulin plays in the body, seamlessly rising and falling with in a narrow range for the vitality of life. We want to avoid the big waves, crashes, and consistently high levels. We want more of a whisper.

Insulin is triggered by the level of glucose in the blood stream. Eat a lot of carbs, insulin levels go up to shuttle this glucose out of the blood stream, then plummet. This triggers hunger. The more unstable and higher your insulin levels, the more hungry you are. Your body is trying to keep you alive here, too high or too low of insulin levels and we are in trouble. Mood swings, hangry, exhaustion, inability to think, focus, weight gain..... Getting the picture? 

If carbs, increase the amount of insulin produced in the body, what do we eat? Protein and our good friend fat. The bulk of your nutrient intake should be coming from fat and protein. How much? An idea is a gram of protein per pound of lean body mass, ideal weight. More than you are eating. How much fat? Copious amounts of healthy fats that we have been talking about these last several posts. Protein has some impact on your insulin levels. For most, this impact is not a big deal, be sure to eat it with fat. Eat more protein. Fat on the other hand. well is basically is a free food. It doesn't impact our insulin levels. Keeps them nice and stable. Eat more fat.  

One more important thing, stable insulin levels leads to effortless weight loss and maintenance. Go eat some fat and protein.

More resources:

A Guide to Insulin

Dr. Cate Her book the "Fat Burn Fix" is fantastic.

Where your mitochondria go, your health goes.


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

A Trip Back in Time

New Beginnings 

I began my blog in August of 2011. Crazy. I consistently blogged for many years, weekly to multiple times a week. I put together challenges, monthly ones, year long challenges with monthly and weekly smaller challenges to go along with the greater goal of better health. I poured a lot of love into my blog for several years. It never went anywhere, but I did enjoy it. By the end of 2016, I wasn't as consistent and pretty much stopped other than a post here and there. Typing destroys my hand and arm. It causes tremendous bone pain, my arm will scream bloody murder for days to weeks if I type. It wasn't worth the pain I was in to continue typing. I stopped blogging and began using Instargram for a "blog". Went through a divorce. Began working on me, there was hell to heal from.  Recently, from the encouragement of my business coach, I began blogging again a couple of months ago. She kept reminding me how much content, love I had in this blog, I shouldn't let it go away. If nothing else, reuse content, there is so much here. She reminded me of my joy of doing this. I am loving it! Typing still sets my arm to hell. Sometimes I type with one hand, other times I push through and type with both hands, gets the thoughts out better. It is a work in progress, lets be honest.
I was browsing old drafts, see what I had began as ideas for posts and never did. I originally began this post in July of 2013. I need to ask myself these questions today, all these years later. 

What are you holding onto that you need to let go of to achieve this goal/dream?
Sometimes the thing we are holding onto the tightest is the thing we need to let go of to fulfill our dreams. This "thing" is what is keeping you from reaching your dreams/goals, new heights, being the person you want to be.
What steps are you willing to take to begin letting go of this controlling fear? This fear that is stopping you from reaching the heights?

Some powerful questions.

Where your mitochondria go, your health goes.
All my love

Monday, April 19, 2021

April's Challenge, Fat is the Preferred Energy Source

The color egg yolks should be deep orange

One of the beautiful aspects of Primal living is the switch in the paradigm of the body's preferred source of fuel. It is not carbohydrates it is fat. The body loves to burn fat for fuel. The heart and brain thrive on ketons which are produced by the body when we eat fat and protein. Yes, the brain needs some glucose. The liver is able to create enough of this to supply the brain with it's minimal need for glucose. For most of it's energy source the brain prefers ketons. This energy source is long lasting and there is ample supplies of it on our bodies. This reassures the energy hogging brain it will have all the energy it needs to thrive. It quiets down. Fat is clean burning, long lasting and stable source of energy and nutrients the body needs to function. The fat I am talking about is natural fats, animal fats, butter, full fat dairy, eggs, beef, pork, fish, lard, olive oil, avocadoes, nuts and seeds, foods our ancestors would have recognized and known what they were hundreds of years ago. 

What do I mean by clean burning energy? When the body breaks down nutrients to use an inevitable side effect is oxidative stress, free radicles are created. A part of the process no way around it. Different foods create differing amounts of free radicles. Sugars, carbohydrates, hydrogenated oils, these cause significant amounts of oxidative stress. We need more antioxidants then to clean up these free radicles. However, when we eat protein and healthy fats like I mentioned above, there is significantly less free radicles created in the break down processes. The body is able to more readily clean up after itself when fat is the primary source of fuel. We need less antioxidants to clean up after eating. Instead of putting those precious antioxidants to use cleaning up from our food choices, the body is able to put those to use in other ways protecting us from other damage, chemicals, toxins, stress. 

Another reason we prioritize fat for fuel is the amount of energy availed in fat. It is stable, fat doesn't disturbed our insulin creating peaks and valleys, high and low levels of insulin. This peak and valley in insulin leads to crashes in energy levels. With fat and protein insulin remains stable. Stable insulin relates to higher, consistent energy levels, fewer energy crashes, better mood, greater focus and higher quality sleep. 

For  endurance athletes, you know bonking all to well. When your body is able to burn fat for fuel and you are able to dig into your body's fat stores, you have abundant energy available to you. You become virtually bonk proof.  

Your body has to come back to it's God given natural state of being able to burn fat for fuel. Your mitochondria, the power plants of your cells, where your energy is produced, they have to readapt to burning fat. When you eat sugar and carbs as your energy source, your body changes at a chemical, cellular, physiological level. It has to relearn how to be a fat burner. Once it has gone through this period of time, around 21 days, you are on your way to better health, effortless weight loss or weight maintenance, stable moods, better sleep, mental health improvements and so much more.

The benefits of burning fat for fuel are endless, You have more bang for your buck when eating fat, there is a lot of energy in fat. It helps keep stable insulin levels leading to increased energy and more stable moods. It tastes amazing! How could eating a steak dripping in butter not be one of those most amazing things to eat?! 

Where your mitochondria goes your health goes. 

All my best


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

April's Challenge, Eliminating the Not so Good

To continue from lasts week's post in regards to eliminating hydrogenated oils, I believe this is an important graph and article attached describing the chemical process rape seed goes through to become canola oil. It isn't pretty. I know for me, if something has to go through this many steps to become "edible" it isn't something I am putting in my body.

The article is a bit lengthy, but worth the read. 

The Great Con-ola

Where your mitochondria go, your health goes.

All my best,


Friday, April 9, 2021

The Long Hard Road to Recovery


My ever faithful workout buddy, Otto

I believe a hard aspect for any of us as athletes, those who workout and train often, coming back from an injury or being sick is never easy for us. We always want it to happen faster than it is going to. Become frustrated quite easily, which, truly makes it all far more difficult and agonizing than it has to be. It is humbling. We want to push and do what we were doing before and when it doesn't happen at our speed, first workouts back, frustration begins to set in. All true for me anyway.

Giving our bodies the time and space they need for full recovery is difficult. There is a balance between taking the next step, being able to fully recover, heal, and pushing to hard to quickly, re-injuring or re-lapsing, we prolong the recovery processes. We forget just because we are feeling better does not in any way mean our bodies are truly recovered. 

I have been on a journey of recovery from having the virus. I was lucky. No, I didn't luck out with some mild case. Mine was more moderate. My immune system had a good fight. It definitely hit my lungs, which is normal for me. When I was a teen, my poor lung took a beating. Every time I got sick, or my allergies would kick in during the winter months, it went to my lungs, accompanied by an angry cough. Chest x-rays yearly to check for pneumonia, spots on my lungs, anything to point to my rough cough. Thankfully, every time, it was negative for anything, just a nasty cough. Inhalers and steroids later and months it would calm down. As an adult, I consistently feel like I am suffocating. I feel like I have an elephant sitting on my chest and a boa constrictor wrapped around my lunges. Breathing is difficult for me. That the virus went to my lungs would be expected. With all of this, my case was mild. No where near anything I fought in my younger years. Good mild case of a virus for my body to become stronger.

Yes, not being able to breath makes CrossFitting difficult. I swear I am suffocating through workouts. Part of why I do CrossFit and train hard, strengthen my lungs.

Because my body did fight an upper repertory virus my lungs were mildly impacted. As I was beginning my workouts and walking, my lungs were on fire. My first walks with Otto were slow and short. My endurance was gone, felt like it anyway. It sucked. I would go for a short walk and be wiped out. I took things slowly not pushing my body hard, giving my body the space and time it needed to heal and recover. When I felt a little stronger, I added more length to our walk. As my endurance and lunges healed, I added the hills, the mountain, more distance. 

I have slowly been working on regaining strength as I recover. My first work out I did, body weight squats, reverse rows, lunges, plank, my lungs burned. It hurt. I did a set, rested, tried another, waited, I cannot even remember if I decided to do a third set or not. I might have called it at two. It was frustratingly humbling. I have a better understanding of those who are beginning a workout regime for the first time. It is not easy. 

I had to remind myself, I am recovering, rebuilding my lungs and body. It is going to take time. I do not want long term damage just because I am impatient and want it now. I need to trust the process. Work slowly. My body is doing far more important things, rebuilding. It doesn't need to be pushed hard in workouts. As I felt stronger, I did a little more. Recovered. Rebuild. Add a little more. I know it will be in  no time I am fully back. It is the greater understanding of recovery, coming back, giving myself grace and trusting my brilliant body. Remembering my future, not only this moment but thinking long term.  

Several months out, I feel amazing. I am stronger and healthier than I was before getting sick. Allowing my immune system to fight the virus was one of the best things for me. My body needed the opportunity to fight a virus, rid itself of cells that needed to go, breakdown, get lots of extra sleep, take life easy, slow down, have a stronger immune system and rebuild itself. My immune system fought, like a champ and it came out victorious. 

I am back to full workouts, even sprinting again. I feel amazing!
Thank you to my brilliant body.
Were your mitochondria go your health goes.
Love you guys

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

April's Challenge, Decrease Hydronated Oils

 Welcome to week two of April's challenge focusing on fats.

Last week we talked about increasing healthy fats, butter, egg yolks, lard, animal fats in general, coconut oil, avocados. These healthy fats wont make you fat, especially when eaten with low carb lifestyle and high animal protein. These fats provide the body with vital nutrients, vitamins, minerals, energy for the body. Stability to insulin levels, stable insulin leads to the body being able to burn stored body fat for energy. Go eat your fats!  

For the challenge this week, I want to focus on hydrogenated oils. We want to eliminate these oils as much as possible. What are hydrogenated oils? These are fats high in omega 6 fatty acids, type of fat. They are heated to very high temperatures, processed with chemicals, leading to denaturing of the fat, this leads to health problems. These fats include soy, canola, corn, cottonseed, safflower, sunflower, vegetable oils.

These oils are one of the leading causes of metabolic decline, your cells not functioning properly, increasing inflammation in the body, interfere with your mitochondria, your power houses, energy sources in your cells. When these are damaged, your health declines. Hydrogenated oils lead to obesity. Inflamed, painful, sore, arthritic joints. Gut health issues. Brain, cognitive decline. Negatively impact your thyroid. Impact the expression of your genetics. Hydrogenated oils damage every cell in your body. These are truly an oil we want to eliminate from our eating. 

This could be a challenge, especially if you are used to eating processed, pre-packaged foods, or eating out, because they are loaded with hydrogenated oils. Deciding to fully eliminate these foods from your current way of eating, sounds fantastic, but probably isn't going to set you up for success. One fail swoop of a diet change is not normally sustainable for the long term. Taking it slowly and creating a healthier lifestyle is a better approach for a life time of health, not a  crash diet. Choose one of your meals, breakfast, lunch, dinner and decide to eat whole foods at this meal. Once you have this down, move onto another one. This is a journey and it can take time. If you are already well into your journey of healthy eating, maybe fully eliminating these oils is the next step for you. Where ever you are, take the next step!

Where you will find hydrogenated oils? When reading a food label, look for hydrogenated oil on the ingredient list. Even if on the front, it says no hydrogenated or trans fats, be sure to read the ingredients. Here in the US, food manufacturers are allowed to put so much in and still call it "free" from these deadly oils. Read the ingredient label! This will basically keep you buying single ingredient items, real food.

Other places to watch out for trans fats, another form of hydrogenated oils, is liquid oils at room temperature being cooked. Oils such as olive, flax, walnut, even avocado are fantastic for our health and should be eaten, I recommend not cooking them. Heating these oils changes them into trans fats.

By eliminating hydrogenated/trans fats from your diet, you will be protecting your heart, decreasing inflammation in your body, which is at the root of every disease, take off inches from your mid section, plus you will not be eating processed food and instead be eating highly nutrient rich dense foods that will nourish your body.

Where your mitochondria goes, your health goes. 
Many blessings to you on this journey to health,

Friday, April 2, 2021

Welcome to April! Let's Eat More Fat!!!


Welcome to April! Can you believe it?! For our challenge this month, we are going to focus on healthy fats, the reasons these are important, why we need them, health benefits, why they aren't the enemy we have been told.

Let's begin!

Some benefits of healthy fats:
Very important vitamins and miners, A, D, K2 and omega-3's
Help with hormone synthesis, if we do not have enough healthy fat, we cannot make our hormones.
If we don't eat cholesterol, our livers will make it, it is that important for our health, our liver makes cholesterol 
Help in our weight lose or weight gain efforts, stabilizing insulin levels. 
Makes food tasty yummy
Help our bodies to uptake the water soluble vitamins.
Help our hair, nails and skin be healthy.
Help to protect our hearts.
Help protect our brains, which is mainly cholesterol.
Preferred source of energy for the body and our organs. 

This is an extremely short list, but I think you understand the idea. Anywho, how long of a list do you need anyway when someone is giving you permission to eat healthy fats, like butter?! Not long.

What determines a healthy fat, to me:
It has to be natural.
Not going through lengthy chemical processes to be able to eat it.
No hydrogenated,  chemical transfats, these are processed omega 6's, vegetable oils.
From animals that are pastured raised, eating what God intended them to eat, as much as possible.

Foods we want to increase:
Obviously butter!
Full fat heavy cream
If you can find it, whole raw milk
Whole eggs
Organ meats
Coconut oil and milk
Nuts and seeds
Bone broths
Not only the lean meat, go for fattier cuts
Cold pressed olive oil
Code liver oil
Ghee, tallow, lard, bacon

Now, I am not saying go over board and only eat fat. In my eating plan, I strive for somewhere between 50-65% coming from healthy sources of fat, a ball park range. It seems for most people, this is a good range. This will help you feel full and satisfied as well as give you good stable energy, and nutrients your body needs to thrive.

For this weeks challenge:
Incorporate more healthy fats into your daily diet.

Here's to a great challenge increasing fat!
In courage and kindness

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

March Challenge: Simplify Relationships

 If you are a human, I do not think you will come across someone who doesn't say relationships are hard. They are complicated. We as humans are complicated beings and we tend to make things even more complicated than they need to be. 

For this weeks challenge of simplifying March, I would like to give you a few ideas of how to help bring peace and clarity to relationships. These aren't easy, but nothing good in life is easy. We have to go through the hard to have the good.

*Most of the time, something you do not like in someone else, is something you do not like about yourself. Before going off on someone else, take a hard look in the mirror and ask yourself, is this something I do? Fix it in yourself first.

*Take time to listen to your spouse, parents, kids, friends. Listen to hear them not to respond. There is a technique in coaching we use called reflective listening. There are many forms this takes, at it's simplest, it is repeating back to the person what you heard them say. Example:

You to friend: How are you today?

Friend: I am struggling today. The kids are going crazy not wanting to listen, the toddler stages. I have to tell them 10 times every morning to do their takes. I am a stuck record. 

You: You are struggling today because you are a stuck record with the kids telling them to do the same thing 10 times a day? 

Friend: YES!!!!

Can you imagine how your friend would feel heard if you responded this way instead of after asking the question, how are you, you go on about whatever you wanted to talk about not paying any attention to what they said? Imagine how things could be different with your spouse hearing them this way.

*Be present. Stop thinking about the other things you need to do, what has happened in your day, racing in your thoughts, whatever it is. Reflective listening helps with this. 

*Communicate more thoroughly. Those around you are not in your head listening to the conversation you are having with yourself. Beginning the conversation with them in the middle leaves them lost and no clue what you are saying. Start from the beginning. Don't leave out important details. But don't go on and on telling someone every little things either.

*Don't assume someone knows what you are talking about or understands what you meant. On that same token, as the listener don't assume you know what they are talking about or meant. To many disagreements happen because one or both parties assume and they are wrong. Clarify. Saves a lot of heart ache, hard feelings and ended relationships over misunderstandings. 

What are some of your tips for helping communication with others?

All my love


Monday, March 15, 2021

March Challenge: Simplicity in Exercise

 I am a workout junky.
A gym rat at heart.
I am a sucker for a great workout.
I have adrenal issues and CrossFit feeds those so does trail running. 
It brings great joy to my heart to workout, hard, heavy, crazy, long, I am willing to try most workouts at least once.

Do I think anyone else has to be as crazy as I am when it comes to workouts? No. Do I support everyone should be moving their body in some capacity to support their health, yes.

How do you decide what workouts are going to help you achieve your goals? 
You need to decide what your goal for fitness is and what you want to build within your body type. You need to be realistic with your goals and what you want to achieve. From there, you have to train for the body you want and your goals. Try different types of workouts, you might surprise yourself and find something you never thought you would enjoy. If you are not moving your body, begin. Walk out your door and and go for a walk.  

I am not the coach, trainer who tells you if you do these simple workouts 3 times a week you are going to build a body like mine. That simply is not the case. I have been working out and building my body for the last 35 years, I started gymnastics when I was 3. I have been CrossFitting for the last 7 plus years. I have a base of fitness from a lifetime of moving my body. 

With that said, it does not mean you cannot build a body you are proud of through working out. Those workouts can be simple, they can be complex, they can be anything you want. My 90 year old grandparents have started exercising, simple exercises appropriate for them, and they are healthier and stronger for moving their bodies, as simple as these exercises might be. If they can begin exercising, you can to. It is going to take time and aggressive patients to achieve your goals. This should be a lifetime goal, not short term.

At the base of it all is some simple fitness. You have to move the body to be healthy. Our genes expect a lot of frequent movement at a slow pace. Walking is beyond powerful for our health. Doesn't mean you should be afraid of lifting heavy objects, your body weight, because you should be able to. Our long term health requires us to do this. These workouts do not have to be complicated. They can be simple. Most of the time, the simple ones are the most effective. 

What it comes down to is moving your body frequently at a slow pace, lifting heaving objects, sprint once in awhile and be consistent with it for life. Decide within your body type what you want to achieve and begin a program to go after this. Track your progress through pictures, how you feel, your accomplishments. If you need any help, please reach out.

Find the exercise you enjoy and go for it!
Otto and I are off for a walk up the mountain.
All my best

Monday, March 8, 2021

March's Challenge: Simplicity in Eating


Simple meal, asparagus, salmon and shrimp
cooked in butter, salt and lime zest, juice.

Continuing our challenge for March, simplifying life, this week's focus is on simplifying our food.

As a health coach, one of the things I notice, is clients and the world over complicating eating habits.
You have to weigh, measure, have iron clad discipline and will power to not over eat, eat this and that together, not this and that together, combine this, eat this time to this time, but don't eat after this time, or before this time, then jump three times, stand on your head, wiggle your ears, say the magic words, eat the secret foods and if you aren't confused enough, my magic secret bullet will get you there. Watch some hour long video, that doesn't tell you anything, confuses you more and then ask you to buy my program, because you can't find health without me, because I have made it SOOOO complicated. 

How many of us through our hands in the air and say, I am confused and don't know what to eat, everyone contradicts each other, I am not going to try. I will eat whatever. In all honesty, with all my education and years of experience, when I hear some of these things, I feel the same way, confused and overwhelmed.

For myself and my clients, I strive to keep things simple. Simplify eating. 
The first step, begin eating more whole, real food.
This begs the question, what is real food? 

A list of real food
Notice, there isn't anything from a box, manufactured.
It was all living and growing. 

The second step, prioritizing animal protein and fats at the base of your eating habits. 
Choose foods from the list above and eat them abundantly. When you are hungry, truly hungry, obey your brilliant body and nourish it with food. When full, stop.

The third step, keep meal preparation simple. Foods that are in season, local, pastured taste amazing and don't need a lot done to them. Find those seasonings, herbs, spices, simple preparations you enjoy and make those. Keep the ingredients stocked in your pantry and fridge. You can always put a meal together quickly this way.

For example, I love limes and salt. I cook a lot of meat in this combination, beef, pork, chicken, fish, they are all tasty in this combination. I cook in butter and drizzle olive oil on top for extra fat and flavoring. Depending on what I am making, I might add other spices or herbs to the mix, but the base is the same, lime zest and juice and salt. Veggies are great in this mixture as well. Simple and easy. 
I have put the work in up front, finding ways I enjoy cooking, flavors I enjoy together. The pay off, meals are much simpler to make and rotate through.

How confused are you about eating?
If you need any help with your food, please reach out.

Inspiring growth

Monday, March 1, 2021

The Beauty of Simplicity, March's Challenge

I don't know about you, but there are many times I sit back and think to myself, I need to simplify. I have myself overwhelmed, over thinking, making a situation far more complicated than it needs to be, or "believing" the solution to a problem has to be extremely complicated for it to be the right one. Any one else? 

Instead of staying in this mindset of overcomplicating things, let's begin to make a mindset shift and improve our lives. Get out of the muck. 

Why do we over complicate things? I think we need to understand where it stems from for us to make a lasting change, mindset shift. I find we over complicate things for a couple of reasons: 
*if it is complicated, then it is too difficult to do. We like to complicate things so we don't have to do them. 
*not understanding something, lack of information automatically makes something complicated. *others tell us it is complicated, don't even try. 

Why do you over complicate things? Once we can understanf why we make things overly complicated, we can begin taking steps to improve. * we have to recognize we are overwhelmed, making things complicated. We have to ackonwldge the situation before we can change anything. 
* the pattern leading up to being overwhemled, over thinking. What happens before? 
* take a deep breath, maybe five or six. This helps calm the body down and gives our brains a chance to stop running, being crazy emotional and think logically. 
* once calmed down and out of our emotions, we can begin asking ourselves questions: 
    What are these emotions telling me? 
    Pointing out to me? 
    What is one step I can take to move forward?       
    What knowledge do I need to help me? 
    What support do I need? 

Pretty much without fail, the answer is to simplify. The simple, straightforward answer is the correct one. It is usually the most difficult as well, it is simple, effective, yet has to be implemented over a period of time, months, years, a lifetime. It is the monotony of life. 

For the month of March, we are going to explore different areas of our lives to begin the process of simplifying. Each week will present new challenges and ways to simplify. My hope, by the end of the month, we will be armed with effective tools to improve our lives. Hope you will join me! 

How do you complicate your life? 
What overwhelms you? 
How can you begin to simplify your life today? What is one, simple step you can take today?

Courage is a small voice.
It is not't I can't. It is how can I.
All the blessings to you