I’m NOT asking you to STOP BREATHING!

In order to get healthy, we don’t need to make all the changes at once!

A few years ago I was very frustrated with a friend who was experiencing a LOT of health issues, yet refused to make any changes to his non-healthy habits.  I just knew that if he would eat better, cut back on the unhealthy habits, drink more water, stop surrounding himself with toxic products, and meditate more he would feel better and see great results. 

Then, a friend said something that has stuck in my head ever since.

You may as well ask him to STOP BREATHING!  Why would you assume that he would just change EVERYTHING in his life, especially when those habits are comforting and he’s spent a lifetime developing them

Stressed woman Healthy Grease Monkey

When we are stressed, it is easy to turn to old habits, even when those habits aren’t the best choice.  Comfort foods, alcohol, sodas, chips, cookies, chocolate, candy bars, ICE CREAM!!!

This week as I was working with a client who has decided she wants to improve her health, lose some inches, and increase her energy levels,  we discussed “what are healthy food choices,” I noticed she started to get overwhelmed.  It was at this point I STOPPED.  We need to understand that even small changes made on a gradual basis can have huge results.  And each new healthy habit stacked on top of the previous healthy habit creates a synergy toward better health!

This reaction reminded me of “might as well stop breathing.”

Many times people GIVE UP because of an ALL OR NOTHING attitude.  This attitude sets you up for failure.  Chronic Stress is detrimental to our health, worrying about “doing it all right” creates stress and many times causes us to fail simply by giving up on all the good we’ve started.


Pick one healthy change to implement into your daily life today… Work to master this new habit in the next month.  Then, next month, add the next healthy habit – by the end of 12 months you will have 12 new healthy habits to provide the synergy needed to increase your energy, improve your health, and even reduce the inches around your waist!

My error, years ago, was in expecting my friend to change EVERYTHING all at once, rather than asking him to try making one small change at a time to better influence his healthy.  Don’t get me wrong, I have seen AMAZING results in a mere 48 hours when a client has chosen to make a “complete turnaround” but more times than not, this all inclusive, huge change is a set-up for failure.

What ONE THING will you change

TODAY to improve your health, increase

your energy levels, and your quality of

life?  Then keep working on that one thing until you have it mastered… then move on to ONE more thing you can change or tweak. 

Contact me for assistance in what those changes might be.

My Biography, for those wondering who I am.

Tess is a Certified Master Life Coach through Shift & Wake Up, a Certified Personal Trainer through IMA, and a Shaklee 180 Specialist who owns The Healthy Grease Monkey and focuses on improving health, increasing energy levels, and reducing stresses on her clients’ bodies through a wholistic approach.


Having weighed over 200 pounds, twice, and having been prescribed to take 6+ pharmaceuticals a day for various maladies (and the side effects from the other Rx), she is now prescription free and 55 pounds lighter – for over 7 years.


Through daily choices of nutrition, movement, thought processes, and product usage, Tess was able to gradually lose the weight and pharmaceuticals and maintain her good health, increased energy levels and has reduced the daily stresses to her body.


Tess offers personal coaching, group coaching, muscle reset and walking classes, as well as weekly support groups for those looking to improve their health.

As a certified Training Walk Leader for the Susan G Komen 3-day 60-mile Walk events, she knows what it takes and how to train for and complete long distance events to allow for little to no recovery time, post event.

Her experience as a Public Speaker for groups of 3-3,000 and her experience as a high school teacher, Tess understands that not everyone learns or progresses at the same rate and she tailor’s her programs to each and every student.

This wife & mother of 1 daughter is very active in PTO, Rotary, has completed 5 -60-mile walks, and is training for her 6th in October. Health is her passion, helping other is her purpose.


Perpetuating an Epidemic? Bring back RECESS!

I’m not sure how all this happened? Not how I ended up in an effort to bring recess back to the children of my daughter’s  school, the children in her district, perhaps even the children in her state and nation.

For many years now, schools and school districts have been doing away with recess for the purpose of “improving test scores.”  I call MALARKY!


(photo from www.kurtbruner.net)

I, literally, spent hours looking for research that proved adding class time and reducing/eliminating recess improved test scores/student performance.  I could not find it!  There wasn’t ANY that I could find.

As a health coach, I am sincerely concerned with the future of our children and their health.  I am concerned with “The Weight of the Nation” to coin the phrase from HBO’s informational series that I offer as a class. We are seeing increasing numbers of obese children, sick children and children unable to focus in the classroom. Children who are struggling to pay attention in the classroom, to retain the lessons being taught, and trying to hold back the urge and need to MOVE. 

Our school systems have basically told our young children, “You have not earned recess due to your test scores, so we are taking away recess.”  Our legislatures are so worried about test scores that they are failing.  Failing to give our kids what it takes to excel, failing to pay attention to the masses of research out there that tells us how IMPORTANT RECESS BREAKS are for our kids, and FAILING TO READ.  (Ironic, since that is one of the reasons they have yanked “playtime,” so the children can focus on reading skills.)

Perhaps our legislature should go back to reading class and be assigned scientific based studies relating to how children learn and retain information.

Recess: Is it needed in the 21st Century?
The Recess Debate
The Benefits of Recess in Primary School
Increasing Physical Activity Through Recess
The Role of Schools in Obesity Prevention
The Role of School Physical Activity Programs in Child Body Mass Trajectory

So, what are the problems being created by eliminating recess?

  • Children have difficulties focusing, especially later in the day
  • Teaching our children a sedentary lifestyle and perpetuating our current health care crisis
  • Children are unable to retain the material being taught in the classroom due to prolonged, concurrent information sessions
  • Children develop stress over their performance on tests and school work since everything focuses on “lessons” and there are no breaks – developing chronic stress at an early age
  • Long periods of sitting is causing an epidemic of “Sitting Disease”


(source is from The Role of School Physical Activity Programs in Child Body Mass Trajectory)

What is the cure?

  • A 20 minute recess 5 days a week guaranteed to each student to allow the student to relax, absorb what has been taught, move, communicate, and enjoy a break to allow them to return to the classroom with a renewed focus and ability to “get to work”


Please, talk to your legislatures. Encourage them to READ for 90 minutes a day.  Encourage them to READ science based research BEFORE inflicting harmful legislation and recommendation to our already taxed teachers and schools!

If you live in Lee County Florida, please take a moment to visit my page with the virtual petition to bring Recess BACK to our Lee County schools before next Tuesday!


What’s in MY fridge?

I got an interesting call Monday evening. Yvonne McClellan of the News-Press called and asked to interview me and see “What’s in my Fridge.”  So, to my house, she came to visit and check it out.  (Click on the photo to be taken to the video or click the link below.)

What's In Your Fridge by Yvonne McClellanhttp://www.news-press.com/videos/life/food/2014/05/07/8810263/

What surprised Yvonne about my fridge?

  • I have sour cream and mayonnaise in my refrigerator.
    • I have a husband who still eats foods I choose to avoid.
    • I DO eat sour cream – I read my labels so I am not eating extra ingredients, just whole cream.
  • How do I have time to make so many tasty foods?
    • I make many of the foods in bulk.
    • I have found it doesn’t take any longer to make it from scratch than it does from a box.
  • How do I make healthy dinners every night when I am such a busy mom?
    • Since I do cook in bulk, I freeze things in portion sizes so on busy nights I can just heat and eat.

Recipes from the video!

Pico de Gallo
Refried Beans
Peanut Butter Protein Bites
Fruit Infused Water
Cream of Anything (Base for Cream of ### soups)
Homemade Chicken Stock


This was so much fun!  I hope you enjoy.  Drop me a note and let me know “What’s in YOUR Fridge!”