A 7 day cleanse ruined my life!

I decided I had consumed way too much trash over the Thanksgiving-Christmas holidays. I felt sluggish, had no energy, and was bloated, not to mention I’d gained 9 pounds. I heard about this awesome all you can eat cleanse and that sounded like something I could do. I stocked up on healthy, fresh produce and embarked on this great challenge. No starvation, no crazy concoctions, no drugs, just tasty, pretty, raw veggies and fruit.

Day 1: I want to eat a wheel of cheese and a whole tuna. (Don’t forget the protein.) I did very well on this day. Not many cravings, but the knowledge that I should avoid it for 7 days made me want it.IMG_20150109_192701

Day 2: <Head hits desk> When my body doesn’t get protein it doesn’t function. I had misunderstood the instructions and omitted any protein on day 1. Unable to function, a half serving of a plant based protein brought me back to life and I commenced to shoving large quantities of food in my mouth.IMG_20150107_184019
Day 3: I began feeling clearer in the head, my energy picked up a bit, I wasn’t wanting to eat forbidden foods (as much) I was very thankful for the 2 avocados that had fallen off my tree. I ate half of each of those beasts each day.IMG_20150104_133659
Day 4: This was a Thursday for me. When I walked into Rotary, the meat entre’ smelled divine. This day was very difficult to get enough food past my lips…to which my hubby found very entertaining. I felt that I could not possibly force anymore raw veggies past my teeth. Yet, I continued on.IMG_20150106_191831
Day 5: Must I really continue to eat this stuff? I had lots of energy, felt very clear headed, yet fixing chicken and such for the rest of my family caused me to be jealous. For dinner, I told my husband, “I give up, I want a pizza. I’ll just eat a veggie pizza so it won’t be that bad.” He said NO, so I had slightly steamed tomatoes with avocado and some homemade Italian dressing.IMG_20150105_130904
Day 6: I’ve made it this far… could I eat a whole cow? Nope…one more day to go. Tomato juice warmed with right protein tastes just like cream of tomato soup! I packed an apple and orange in my purse for snacks at the hockey game and ate my salad when we returned home at 10 pm.

Day 7: Easy, this is it. I am finished at dinner time. I shoved fruits and veggiez and plant based protein past my teeth with the knowledge of a small, grilled chicken breast for dinner, and maybe even a bite of ice cream.


Free dinner -its over!  Hubby grilled the chicken perfect, but when I bit into it, it didn’t meet my expectations.  When darling daughter finished her dinner and got ice cream, I had a single bite of the fowl tasting frozen concoction..

The cleanse ruined my taste buds! I lost 7 pounds in the 7 days, several inches around my waist, increased my energy levels, and wrecked my taste buds for the crap that infiltrates our daily lives.

Chicken is better now, fresh caught grouper is amazing, ice cream still doesn’t cut it and I am craving more veggies.

Things I learned.
*I am thankful for my supportive husband, even if he  makes fun of me in the process.
*Fruits and veggies make me feel good.
*Iron can eliminate cheese cravings.
*Fresh and lightly steamed veggies make gorgeous meals.
*I can do anything for 7 days.
*If I can do it for 7, I can commit to healthier choices on a daily basis for life.
*Keep drinking water-it keeps things moving.
*Protein is an integral part of my daily diet.
*If I have “side effects” it is due to my errors in following proper protocol.


I was devastated that the things I once coveted as delicious, no longer strike my fancy, however it is amazing how delicious these whole foods can taste when there isn’t anything skewed by hyper-palatable foods.  My “junk food life” was ruined! Now I focus on whole foods for my sweets and such!

For more information on this amazing All You Can Eat Cleansecontact me.

Is Sleep Making you Gain Weight?

Busy schedules, kids activities, homework, housework, volunteering, PTO, Church, Community organizations, paying bills and working…  Our days seem to keep getting more and more full as each one passes.


The days begin earlier and last later into the evening as we try to fit it all in…  What is the cost of our decreased sleep?

A lack of sleep can contribute to an increasing waist line as well as other diseases and ailments, but how?

Lack of Sleep Changes Hormone Levels in the Body.

 Hormones direct our bodies and make the many systems work. When we are sleep deprived those hormone levels are affected and our body doesn’t work at optimum  levels.

These upset hormone levels make sleep-deprived people hungrier.Sleep_deprived_hormones

Awake More Hours = More Time to Eat More Calories

When we spend more time awake, we have more time to shovel more calories into our mouths. Our bodies are designed to work best with 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

When we begin forcing 30 hours of activities in 24 hours it is easy to slip into auto-pilot as we are working through everything.  The mindset of auto-pilot causes us to shovel unknown amounts of non-health promoting foods into our mouths.  Mindful Based Stress Reduction classes can assist in learning to remain mindful about foods, activities, stresses, and life in general to prevent the mindless eating that causes so much havoc on our bodies.

Short Sleepers are 30% More Likely to Gain 30 Pounds.

The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, of 60,000 women who were followed for over 16 years found that women who got 5 hours or less of sleep per day were 15% more likely to become obese and were 30% more likely to gain 30 pounds over the course of the study than those who slept 7-8 hours per day.

Also, those sleep deprived found that the tiredness reduced their will to exercise and burn off the calories.

Lack of Sleep is a Stressor

People lacking sleep have added stress on the body. Stress releases cortisol and other hormones that add to weight gain around the middle. Visceral fat, the bad stuff that contributes to heart disease and diabetes.

High levels of Cortisol lead to the continual need to eat more high-calorie foods which in turn lead to being overweight or obese-due to increased caloric intake. People who stressed eat, not only to feel better when they are stressed, anxious, and depressed, they are actually propelled to eating more by the stress hormones.

Glucose Metabolism is Impaired

According to the 1999 study at the University of Chicago, restricting sleep to 4 hours for just six nights impaired glucose metabolism.  Impaired = Slowed.  It takes much more insulin to maintain the body’s blood sugar levels.

Lack of Sleep isn’t the only Problem

Lack of sleep is not the only reason why people gain weight/fat, develop heart diseases, diabetes, and other diseases, but research definitely points to the fact that it doesn’t make it any easier to maintain a healthy weight.

Lack of Sleep

After walking Relay for Life this past weekend and only getting 4 total hours of sleep between Saturday morning and Sunday night, I can attest to the fact that I DID eat more, I did find myself craving foods, and it is taking me time to balance my system after the abuse of the weekend. I am thankful that Bill stopped in to walk an hour for me.

For more information or coaching opportunities, contact me.

Make it a GREAT day!

What is the Healthiest Vegetable? (Its not a Potato)

Healthiest Veggie

Seven years ago, when I began changing my lifestyle to one where I consciously decide what I eat, how I eat, and how much I eat, I began looking for places where I could get “More Bang for my Buck.” 

At the time, we were a one income household, had a brand new baby, and cutting costs was a MUST! Knowing that nutrition and health were important and knowing how fabulous I was feeling from my new found choices, I began searching for foods that were tasty AND nutritious.

Having tried the South Beach diet a few times prior, I knew that baked potatoes were not the best answer for me, in fact were a very pour choice for me, so I turned to my new best friend… The SWEET POTATO!

My first thought was “in a crock pot with brown sugar, cinnamon, & marshmallows” then I realized that wasn’t the best way to “improve” my health… sugar and high fructose corn syrup are not the answer, but sweet potatoes and cinnamon were a good choice.

Today, I wish to introduce you to the AMAZING sweet potato and a few recipes that are wonderful with these little power house vegetables. (YES, VEGETABLES)

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, based on percentages of Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for six nutrients, SWEET POTATOES are and excellent choice!  To be honest, my husband was a bit leery at first, but now he is a sweet tater fanatic just like me – although he won’t admit it.

Healthiest Veggie w answer

Perfect Baked Sweet Potatoes 

These can be served with butter and organic sour cream, with butter and cinnamon, or just eaten plain.  Yummers

Easy Roasted Sweet Potatoes

— Just  like French Fries but tastier and healthier!

Sweet Potato Brownies

— The jury is still out on this one. I liked them, but they need to be cooked much longer as they are a very gooey brownie.


Upcoming Classes Lunch4Health & Walk4Health

As I am wrapping up the Estero Introduction to Temple Maintenance Class at Estero United Methodist Church I am amazed at how quickly 7 weeks has passed.  We covered so much material in a mere 7 classes, WOW!

As April rapidly approaches, I am pleased to be offering some new classes as well.


Lunch4Health is a brown-bag lunchtime coaching group to provide community with each other in daily healthy choices and challenges.  This group is meant to support each other through the difficult challenges as well as celebrating the victories-no matter how small. 

This weekly group will provide educational information useful to improve health, increase energy levels, and even in reducing fat!  We will provide a safe environment to share, grow (or shrink), learn, and be accountable for our daily choices.

Bonita Springs – Tuesdays 11:45-12:45 in Bonita Springs at Integrative Mindfulness – 3372 Woods Edge Circle, Suite 102, Bonita Springs (Beginning April 1, 2014)

Fort Myers – Fridays 11:30-12:30 in Fort Myers at Shift and Wake Up! – 8359 Beacon Blvd, Suite 403, Fort Myers (Beginning April 4, 2014)

This class will meet on a weekly basis, cost is $20 per class.


Walk4Health Logo

Walk4Health is an opportunity to learn the benefits of healthy walking. Ramp up your energy levels one step at a time.

This program is for beginner to intermediate walkers. Those looking for improved health, but not sure how to begin – this gathering is for you! We will cover the basics and include some techniques for those looking to “step it up a notch” as well.

I am a Certified Personal Trainer and a long distance walker who has walked 5 60-mile walks and logged approximately 3,000 miles training that are so important to be able to, not only finish a 60-mile walk, but also to finish pain free and without any recovery time. She has walking down to a science.

Join us for a quick warm-up, geared to your own level, and an easy walk through the Estero Community Center or Lakes Park. There is a cement walkway around the park, for an even surface and a great place to begin the basics of walking. We will get some walking in as well as learn about what goes into safely ramping up your activity levels.

These classes are offered through Your Life Enrichment Center and available:

Estero – Tuesdays 8:30-9:30 AM at Estero Park, 9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd. Estero , Fl. 33928 April 1 & 15, 2014.

Fort Myers – Friday 8:30-9:30 AM at Lakes Park, 7330 Gladiolus Dr, Fort Myers, FL 33908 Meet at far left parking lot when you first come into park. April 4 & 18, 2014.

These classes will continue beyond April, however, beginning in May they will switch days.  Cost is $10 per session unless you are a member of Your Life Enrichment Center.

For additional information, feel free to contact me here or call 239-246-9488.

What You DON’T NEED to Get Healthy or Lose weight

Friends, our society has become very confused! We have been led to believe we must have the “latest gadget,” the “newest product,” or the “latest discovery” in order to get healthy, lose weight/inches, or both!

They LIE! You do NOT need:


  • to starve yourself
  • to run a marathon
  • to deprive yourself
  • to hurt for days
  • to be exhausted all the time
  • to beat yourself up
  • to join a gym
  • to go broke
  • to eat nasty foods
  • to take drugs
  • to do it all at once (you can’t)

You just need to know where you are now, that it is NOT too late, commit and begin to make a difference.



Advertising today says “DO THIS” “TAKE THAT” and you will immediately be thinner/happier/healthier… Remember, it isn’t a race, there is no “destination” it is a journey.


When we begin with “Where you are now, and where you want to be, then the process can begin!


I am NOT saying DON’T join a gym, I AM saying there are alternatives to paying to use someone else’s exercise equipment or even buying your own gym!


When we set up a firm foundation, strong roots, then we begin to grow healthier and our energy increases. Simple steps taken one at a time can be easy, and begin to compound and make the journey very enjoyable.


Remember, this is NOT the end of the road. It is merely the beginning of a happy journey of healthy choices, directions, and new found joy and energy!


If you are in the Bonita Springs, Estero, Fort Myers area and are looking for a personal trainer who is interested in YOUR SUCCESS, who focuses on YOUR NEEDS, and designs a specific plan to assist you in moving that journey onto the path of improved health, increased quality of life and increased energy, contact me.  I specialize in a holistic approach to better health and in decreasing your waist size!


I would like to give a special SHOUT OUT to my friend, Chris Griffith who took all of these amazing shots and allowed me to use them in my blog! 


How strong is Your Foundation?

So, as I have embarked on my “reading plan” for 2014, He sent me the text from Matthew 7:24-27.  It immediately stuck in my head.  Thoughts were flying at me.

If WE are HIS temple, then we MUST WORK to build a solid foundation to allow that Temple to remain strong, stable, and available as a testament to others.

So many people I know are so STRONG in their faith, their love of God, and their work for Him, yet their health is failing due to their lacking a sound nutritional or the foundation of a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy Local Vegetables for Healthy Diet

As my friend, Camille says, “Its all about the choices we make every day.”  Sure, I can choose chocolate cake or actions that don’t support a healthy life. I am also CHOOSING to face those consequences – whatever they may be.

My thoughts on Temple Maintenance and a Strong Foundation.

I do have a Temple Maintenance class beginning February 11, 2014 at Estero United Methodist Church.

Plans are in the works to begin a Lifetime Waist Reduction Class – where you learn to make the lifestyle and nutritional choices that shrink your waist and help you maintain that health for the long term, as I have.

I am currently accepting new coaching clients as well.  Contact me for more information!

Why I don’t care if you are skinny!

I actually HATE the word skinny!  I hate it as much as I hate the word fat. I always have and most likely always will.  Let me explain.

Growing up, I was very active.  I participated in multiple sports, FFA, F.I.L.E., my Church, and many contests for public speaking. At one point my father or mother tracked my caloric intake during the peak of my junior year.  I was eating 10,000 calories a day!  Literally. I don’t know how my family kept from going broke.


Breakfast was usually some hot cereal with butter and brown sugar, a glass of juice and a glass of milk, a multi-raw egg smoothie (because dad was doing it for his running and such, so would I), two large school lunches, mega snacks right after school, a HUGE dinner, and whatever else I could find.  I was a PIG… and I was SKINNY!

When I say skinny… I mean NO CURVES, NONE. (Well, I did have some lovely calves.)  No butt, no hips, no chest (even with a padded training bra), nothing.  A skinny girl with short hair and braces!  To the point that during long jump at a track meet, a classmate thought it would be funny to register me as one of the boys… The track official didn’t even notice the different uniform!  I hated to buy clothes because nothing fit and it all fell off because of how I was built. (My dad would go shopping for clothes without me to save me the frustration.)

Everyone used to comment how “skinny” I was! Meanwhile my mom was struggling with weight in the other direction, wishing she had my metabolism.

Fast forward to grown-up life. Post college and all its intermural sports, the walking to class, and the dancing the night away. LIFE… and 200+ pounds.

 BeforeJingle Jog 2013

I want to tell you, you can be healthy, look great and be happy and NOT be skinny! 

Today, I am at 145 pounds. I’ve been told that my ideal weight is 135, but I am comfortable, happy, and healthy at 145.  The extra 55 pounds didn’t make me fat… they made me sick and unable to function. 

By making smart choices, healthy choices, by choosing foods and supplements that SUPPORT my health and eliminating the poor choices… many of the aches and pains, the need for my prescription meds, the inability to participate in things all went away and all the extra weight went away too!

I am thankful for friends who showed me healthier ways. Thank you Betsey for guiding and teaching. The research I am seeing today states that losing just 10% of your body weight (when overweight or obese) could GREATLY impact your health!  Its time to get started!

Contact me, when you are ready to begin making healthier choices! We can discuss the best route for your needs!

As my dad used to say, all. the. time. “Zig Ziglar says, Keep on, Keepin’ on!”

Could your Gut be making you fat or sick?

Do I think your “gut” could be making you fat and sick?  Fat –Possibly? Sick – Very Possibly.

Obese couple


Our bodies are miraculous functioning gifts.  They are complex machines that need many things in balance to keep functioning properly. Our bodies were created by God (Genesis 1:27).  They were created to function as a whole entity, complete and perfect.  Our bodies were created with mechanisms to keep us warm, cool us off, fight off disease, heal from injuries, and in the case of our skin and bones, regenerate when broken.

The problem: Our digestive system is under attack from many different directions!

Our “gut” or digestive system is very, VERY important.  We get all of our nutrition (fuel) through the digestive system but it isn’t just a transport system, it also includes our immune system, and everything else.

Today, everything we see advertised on the television is meant to KILL germs and bacteria. The soap most use has the antibacterial component Triclosan along with many of the items we buy.

When we get sick, they give us anti-biotics to kill all the bacteria in our body. Unfortunately it kills the bad AND the good bacteria in our bodies.

The foods many choose to consume on a large scale, feed the bad bacteria which then can overtake the good bacteria and begin to cause havoc on our system as well. (2)

In the news today, they mentioned the fact that the microbiota in your system could even contribute to obesity.  (The key here is contribute – there are many facets to consider when looking at obesity.)  (1)

A solution: Add a quality probiotic to your daily routine/diet.  Remember that your stomach acids can kill 85-95% of the good bacteria moving through, so eat your probiotics with a good sized meal, (like dinner) to improve its chances of making it safely through OR choose a probiotic supplement from a trusted source.

ALSO, avoid excessive sugar intake. This includes refined flours, sugars, sugar substitutes, and highly processed foods and juices. 

Eat a balanced diet INCLUDING LOTS of Fruits and Vegetables. A recent study showed that those who ate a diet HIGH in Meat & Dairy caused the microflora in the digestive tract to change rapidly, and not necessarily for the good! (2)

Veggies - LifeInBonitaSprings

You always want to be sure that the supplements you choose are from a company that guarantees their product, that what it says it contains is REALLY what is in there and that nothing unwanted will be in the supplement as well!

There is a LOT of research going on right now involving the gut and the microbiome in our bodies. The hope is to understand more and to be able to help more people stay healthier to start with. (3)

For more information in regard to digestion and how it can affect our health here are some links.  An audio recording of Digestion Is the Key to Health by Dr. Frank Painter (43 minutes long)  and a video presentation entitled Protecting The Most Important Organ in Your Body. (40 minutes long)

For more information on healthy eating, healthy weight loss, and improving your health, contact me!

(1) http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/predicting-2014s-top-medical-innovations/ (beginning at 1:55)

(2) http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/12/10/250007042/chowing-down-on-meat-and-dairy-alters-gut-bacteria-a-lot-and-quickly

(3) http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/03/12/microbiome-health-blaser

Photo of vegetables courtesy of Chris Griffith, LifeinBonitaSprings.com.