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.

Gluten Free Success Story–Guest Blog by Jess

With so many having issues with gluten these days, it is getting easier to find gluten free options.  I have many clients who ARE gluten free due to intolerance issues, and feel as if the “task at hand” is just too daunting for them.

I wanted to share a school mate’s journey over this past year as HOPE to those of you just embarking on the path as means of inspiration. I will attach a link for information regarding a Living Gluten & Wheat Free-First Steps Teleconference to be held monthly at the end of this blog.  Enjoy!


1 Year Gluten Free!

One year ago today, if you told me I would be where I am today, I would have thought you were crazy. February 10, 2013 began my gluten free journey; one that I thought there was no way I could survive. But when you feel as miserable as I did, I was willing to do whatever I had to in order to feel better again.

photo 3

My first step was to research what had gluten in it and get it out of my house. I was shocked when all I had left was half of one cabinet shelf with food on it and two things in my freezer. If I had thought it was going to be hard to cut out gluten before that, I was very overwhelmed now. It was time to restock the kitchen so I did some more research and found what I COULD eat and made a list. I started with simple things that I knew I would enjoy and started there. Trying to restock and entire kitchen in one step is not only overwhelming, but costly. Over time, I was able to replenish what was lost with gluten free options.

By the time I was at the point where gluten free was next on the list to try, I was beyond miserable. My body was trying to tell me something that I did not understand, nor wanted to hear. The thought or smell of food made me nauseous, my belly was bloated and painful to the touch, and the only thing I could stomach to eat was Cheerios (which doesn’t make sense since they are full of gluten). So what I was eating to feel better was only making it worse. I was looking for instant relief, only to find out that switching to gluten free was not a quick fix. The first week without gluten seemed to last forever but I made it to the end, yet still felt miserable. I didn’t realize it would take a couple weeks to get the bad out of my system, but I kept pressing on. And finally, day 16, I felt like a brand new person. I couldn’t remember that last time I had felt so good but it was definitely the motivation I needed to keep moving forward. How could I go back to putting that poison in my body, knowing how bad it made me feel?

My doctor had told me to eliminate gluten for 30 days then eat something that had gluten in it to see how I felt. That was going to determine if that was the issue. Well, after 30 days, I thought she was crazy. I already had my answer at day 16 so I was not about to put anything back in my body. I was just going to continue living gluten free and feeling great. If only it were that easy. Time passes and cravings happen. It began to get harder and harder to resist the gluten goodness that I once loved. So began a new group of struggles.

After a couple of months, I couldn’t resist things that I was craving. I would allow myself to eat a gluten “treat” now and then. Sometimes, I would feel fine and other times, I’d be sick before I even finished it. I’ve learned what I can and cannot put in my body through trial and error. I’m human though and sometimes, I just want what I want. However, I’ve learned in the last year there are ways to have the things that I crave but in a gluten free version.

Thankfully, gluten free items are popping up almost everywhere!!! Even in the short one year since I made the switch, it’s so much easier to go to the store (and slowly they are getting cheaper too) or to your favorite restaurant and find gluten free options. This makes it easier to still enjoy a meal out of the house without stress, something I really dreaded at first because I didn’t feel I could go out to eat with friends and still be able to eat a real meal. As time passes and the more common gluten free eating is, the easier it is to stay on track!

With such a significant change in life does not come without challenges and struggles. How could it not when so much of what we once knew, grew up loving, or craved now had to be removed? Change is hard, no matter the reasoning behind it, but nothing is impossible! Personally, I struggled with knowing what to eat, not wanting to spend time cooking, and not being able to eat my favorite foods. But knowing this was going to be my new life, I had to find ways to be successful.

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Looking back over the year, it was with the help of 3 P’s that I was able to succeed: planning, perseverance, and Pinterest. Without these three, I might be right back where I started.

Planning is crucial to most anything in life, and key to the gluten free life. This is most important from day one. I was lost when I went to the grocery store if I hadn’t planned out ahead of time what brands I could buy or what ingredients to look for. I found an application for my phone that was able to scan barcodes and tell me if there was gluten in it; this helped tremendously as reading labels can be tricky. The more I went, the easier it was to find what I could eat, rather than what I couldn’t.

Meal planning also helps me to succeed. After a long day at work, the last thing I want to think about when I get home is what I can eat. Having those decisions made ahead of time helps deter me from wanting to grab something I shouldn’t be eating. I often cook meals on the weekend and put them in the freezer for my lunches during the week or have things started for quick prep on a week night. I have a lot of room for improvement here but it’s definitely a work in progress. I’m always learning new ways to plan ahead.

The second P, perseverance, is key in any aspect in life. There are going to be days that are more challenging than others, and there have been plenty in the last year, but if I give in and eat something gluten, I try to think about what I could have done to prevent it and move forward. I could beat myself up about what I ate (sometimes my body does that for me), or I can learn from it and keep on going. I’ve learned that this is not just a sprint; it’s a marathon for a lifetime of health. I haven’t had my last slip up, but I know I will not give up; I will persevere!

And lastly, the final P, Pinterest. Where would I be without this amazing tool full of gluten free goodness? I had never used it prior to becoming gluten free but it’s been a lifesaver! We all know cookbooks can be helpful but they are usually full of more of what we don’t like versus what we do. I’d much rather go to the internet or Pinterest to find a recipe than a cookbook. Plus, we tend to have them at our fingertips more often than not. I use Pinterest the most to satisfy my cravings typically, but it is handy for crock pot meals and new ideas to add to my meal planning. My first search was for donuts, a weakness of mine, and I have since tried a couple recipes that I love. I am not sure I could have made it through the fall without all the pumpkin goodness recipes I found and tried. Birthday and holiday treats are other hot topics to search for ideas. I’ve learned too that finding these recipes to satisfy the cravings I have for foods I once thought I could not eat again has lessened my cravings for them. Knowing I can’t have something naturally makes me want it more, but now I know there are alternatives I can have, which allow me to just eat them every once in a while, as I’m not deprived.

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Looking back over the last year, I can see how far I’ve come. My health has dramatically improved and I’ve begun to see food in a new light. I spent so many years using food as comfort and enjoyment, rather than a means to fuel my body to live and be healthy. I still have much room for improvement and am constantly looking for ways to eat better. Becoming gluten free once seemed truly impossible to me, just thinking about the possibility of having to eliminate it from my life was overwhelming. However, taking the process one meal at a time, one day at a time made it much more manageable. As with anything, there will be setbacks, but that just sets me up for an opportunity to persevere and comeback! And my one final tip before I sign off, positive thinking is a POWERFUL tool! Believe you can, and you will!  ~Jess


The Living Gluten & Wheat Free – First Steps is offered the 2nd Thursday of each month as a way for those just learning to be Gluten Free to get information and strategies for success! Suzie Sunkel is an amazing woman who is an EXPERT on GLUTEN FREE!

For additional information, please feel free to contact me!

Sneaky Knee Pain–how do I eliminate it?

In 2005 after finishing my second 60-mile walk I developed horrible knee pain.  After the birth of my child, in 2007, it hurt so badly I went to see the joint specialist. (The best surgeon in the Joint, so to speak.)

He checked me out, told me I didn’t need surgery and prescribed some physical therapy.  The surgeon told me the same thing the physical therapist told me.

Feel Good Fast Knee pain


Just ponder that for a moment.

It turns out, I had put on 40+ pounds during the pregnancy.  (That’s an additional 160 pounds of pressure on each knee.) I walked for exercise, but I did NOT stretch.

Your knees go bad (if not involved in an accident) for two reasons. 1. Weak ankles or 2. Weak Hips. 

My issue was weak hips.  1 week of consistent stretching and my knee pain subsided.

I wanted to provide you with some of the stretches that my doc and the PT crew recommended.

Feel Good Fast Knee to chest - cropped

Bring 1 knee up to the chest and pull it to your chest with your hands until you feel the stretch.  Try to hold it for about 30 second, then repeat with your other knee.  (Try doing this 3 times for each knee)

Feel Good Fast Leg dangle hip stretch-cropped

This one is blurry, but I think it can get the point across.  I call it the leg dangle.  Lay on the edge of your bed and allow the leg on the edge to “dangle” off the edge.  Work to keep your knee straight and feel the stretch in the top of that thigh.  I keep my opposite hand out on the bed to stabilize myself.  Turning your head can intensify or lessen the stretch as well.  Try to allow this stretch for 30 seconds.  (3 times for each leg)

Feel Good Fast Cross over hip stretch-Cropped

The third stretch I use to relieve the tension in my hips is what I call the cross over.  Again, lay on the edge of the bed.  This time cross the opposite leg over the body and allow it to “hang” off the edge of the bed. You can intensify this stretch by how straight you keep your knee, which direction you look while stretching, and the angle your leg is to  your body.  Again, 30 seconds for each stretch and 3 times for each leg.


I am not a medical professional, I don’t pretend to be. I just wish to share what has worked for me in eliminating the pain in my knees. 


One last note.  Weight loss had tremendous impact on my knee pain as well.  When you consider that each pound overweight we are, increases the weight bearing load of our knees by 4 pounds.  Thus, when we are 25 pounds over weight – our knees feel 100 pounds of extra weight to carry and deal with.

For more information, feel free to contact me.  If I don’t have an answer, I have a colleague who does and I am happy to refer.

Take a walk, and kick it up a notch.

Last night, in our Feel Good Fast support group meeting, one of our community brought in this article that she had found in the Fort Myers News Press on Tuesday, March 26th.

It was really, very interesting in that Camille and I used to walk several times a week, usually about 6 miles, and I pushed a stroller at the time. (We’ve since fallen away from this habit since our schedules don’t match and are currently working to schedule more time together.) 

Camille’s comment was that, during all that time we were walking, we didn’t see a dramatic change in our appearance while we were walking what seemed to be a significant distance.  Here is the explanation.

Walking News Article

This article discusses remembering FIT while walking. 

  1. Frequency – while we only need about 30 minutes of walking or exercising a day we need to be at 55-90 percent of our maximum heart rate during that time to get the best workout.
  2. Intensity – your speed, (compared to others) isn’t the issue, Intensity here is an individual pace set by your heart rate and ability.
  3. Time – in the beginning, you may find your self winded early on with only the capacity to move for 15 minutes, and that is OK! Keep at it and your 15 minutes will get easier and you will realize the progress you are making and be ready to add 5 more minutes.

Its about challenging yourself, and improving and increasing your personal stamina, one step at a time!     Happy walking!


Here is a perfect example of a gentleman, pushing himself and doing what he can.  You may not be able to walk a marathon or even a 5K, but starting somewhere and sticking to it can make a big difference.

Building a Health Community-Supporting Each Other

There’s no need to attempt to do it alone!

Things are more fun when we share the experience with others.

We tend to continue doing things we enjoy and find support in challenges through others who are like minded.

For this reason, we have begun building communities of people working toward a common goal of improving their personal health, and committed to sharing that experience and supporting each other throughout the transition. And ITS WORKING!


I currently have local teams building, who meet once a week. For quality control we have a limited number of spaces for this new community of support, teamwork, and coaching.

I also have a private community of people from all over the United States who work together, some are friends and some are new acquaintances, all are committed to building each other and themselves up through community and commitment.

The 5 pairs of shoes above represent five women in 3 different states who are currently on this journey. Contact me if you would like additional information or want to be connected with other like minded individuals.

Looking for improved health? Looking for increased energy? Looking for others who are finding it?  Check us out!

I’m Wide Awake– to the Healthy Choices I Make

While walking the other day, this song came onto my player.  I’d been thinking a lot about my health, my choices, the food I eat, and the health of my family as well.

This caused me to think entirely differently about this song. I liked it before, but now, it could almost be the theme song to my life.

What follows are Katy’s lyrics in black and my thoughts while walking in GREEN.

Wish I’d known then what I know now…

Katy Perry – Wide Awake Lyrics

I’m wide awake (and healthier now)
I’m wide awake (and know better now)
I’m wide awake (and feel better now)
Yeah, I was in the dark (I was overweight, undernourished, and lacked energy)
I was falling hard (I was on 6 different prescriptions)
With an open heart (Thought it was my only option)
I’m wide awake (I make conscious choices now)
How did I read the stars so wrong?

I’m wide awake
And now it’s clear to me
That everything you see
Ain’t always what it seems (I didn’t know any other way)
I’m wide awake                 (my choices have had positive effects)
Yeah, I was dreaming for so long

I wish I knew then  (I was over 200 pounds)
What I know now (My daily choices can be simple and easy)
Wouldn’t dive in   (No longer eat McD’s)
Wouldn’t bow down  (Ate whatever ‘tatsted’ good)
Gravity hurts   (The consequences were horrible)
You made it so sweet (Fast food, Sodas, Chips, Junk food)
‘Til I woke up on (Hit 200 pounds)
On the concrete (Realized where I had ended up)

Falling from cloud 9  (Depression set in)
Crashing from the high  (Difficulties conceiving)
I’m letting go tonight   (Began to see a new way of eating/living)
Yeah, I’m falling from cloud 9 (Saw myself for what I was/the weight I was)
I’m wide awake   (I can make better choices)
Not losing any sleep (I need my sleep)
I picked up every piece  (Stopped being a victim)
And landed on my feet  (Better decisions made quick differences)

I’m wide awake     (Feeling fine and full of energy)
Need nothing to complete myself, no   (Have been able to drop the Rx)
I’m wide awake  (Happy, full of energy, loving)
Yeah, I am born again  (I see how it benefits me)
Out of the lion’s den  (No more cravings)
I don’t have to pretend    (Its real)
And it’s too late      (Its really never too late)
The story’s over now, the end (I’ve made a new story)

I wish I knew then (Side effects)
What I know now  (Side benefits)
Wouldn’t dive in  (Didn’t know my options)
Wouldn’t bow down (Just did as they said)
Gravity hurts   (Depression, sadness, daily migraines)
You made it so sweet (Take this pill)
‘Til I woke up on (More side effect – more pills)
On the concrete (Damn!)

Falling from cloud 9 (it was out of the blue)
I’m crashing from the high
I’m letting go tonight (yeah, I’m letting you go)
I’m falling from cloud 9
I’m wide awake  (No longer need the Rx)
Thunder rumbling (Energy to keep going)
Castles crumbling (Realizing the need for alternatives)
I’m wide awake (Researching, discovering, healing)
I am trying to hold on (It can’t be this easy)
I’m wide awake  (Amazing results – health)
God knows that I tried (And I still am)
Seeing the bright side  (I see it now!)
I’m wide awake   (Better choices, more research)
But I’m not blind anymore…  (choosing health)
I’m wide awake   (Able to choose)
I’m wide awake   (Able to enjoy)

Yeah, I’m falling from cloud 9 (it was out of the blue)
I’m crashing from the high
You know I’m letting go tonight (yeah, I’m letting you go)
I’m falling from cloud 9
I’m wide awake  (fruits & veggies by my side)
I’m wide awake (options without side effects)
I’m wide awake  (teaching my child my ways)
I’m wide awake (feeling good and alive)
I’m wide awake  (ready to share with others)

Let me know if you’ve ever felt this way. Contact me for more information.  ~Tess

Get “Ripped” for the New Year! (How about you get healthy)

Since we’ve been home more over the holidays, we’ve had the boob tube on more than normal.  I’ve been amused at some of the… well a lot of the commercials.

“Get Ripped” “Drop 16 dress sizes in 16 DAYS!” “Look like me just by taking this magic pill”

It IS the New Year – at least at midnight it will be. It is another chance for a NEW start and a healthy new you!

I’ve noticed one thing missing from all these ads. How to stay there.  All these companies are offering magic pills, tools, foods, machines and the like to help you LOSE the weight, to get into better shape and such however… None of them offer maintenance to stay there.

I want to offer you the opportunity to not only begin to shed some pounds, if that is what you need, but also the chance to KEEP it off for the long term. 

When we say “Feel Good Fast” it’s a relative term. Relative to how fast you want to get there and how long you want to STAY there. I’ve been there done that– lost and gained, and finally, almost 6 years ago lost and maintained that loss. I’ve lost the prescriptions, the weight, the depression, the asthma, and the need to yo-yo diet repeatedly!

We’ve got the vehicle, if you have the drive.


(Taken by my 5 yr old at Busch Gardens)

Happy New Year and Healthy New You!

Resolutions: A Healthy, Happy, New You!–January Calendar

It’s almost 2013 and time to begin making your New Year’s Resolutions. 

The Healthy Grease Monkey wants to be sure this is a resolution you can keep.  Here are a couple of excellent opportunities to kick start your Healthy New You in 2013.


Support Group Kick Off January 17, 2013 6:30-8:30

Feel Good Fast Walking Banner

Take the first step to a healthier happier you!
Join us for this healthy lifestyle presentation and make a plan for 2013.

Feel like you’ve been there before and given up?

What if…

  • This time you begin by telling yourself “I’m worth it” & “I can choose differently this time.”
  • You weren’t alone this time.
  • You had a team of supporters.
  • Little victories mattered. 

We are here to support you as part of the Feel Good Fast Movement.

This event kicks off our monthly support group meetings.
$5 donation to be paid at the door.


Walk for Health & a Cure January 26, 2013 10:00 AM



Literally, walk for your own health and the health of others.  My grandfather died days before my 13th birthday of his fourth brain tumor.  Here is an opportunity to improve my own life while raising funds to support others as well.

Join our Team, Feel Good Fast, just click on the photo for a link to the event information and details.

  • 1 mile walk or 5K walk/run
  • Entry groups for children
  • $20 entry fee increases after January 12 to $25
  • Walk with others who want to Feel Good Fast in the New Year!

I will keep my ear to the ground for more exciting opportunities to attain and maintain a Healthy, Happy New You.

Movement is Key to Sustained Good Health

When my health was at my worst, my depression its worst, was when I was not moving. I was in a spiral and things just kept getting worse, until I chose to begin moving.

I moved a little at a time and gradually increased my duration and intensity. Today, I am a walker. (I don’t run, Zumba, or cross fit, I just walk and make smart healthy choices.)

Today, I want to offer to you, the choice to begin dancing like no one is watching.  Whether that is on the dance floor all night or just in the comfort of your own living room, or at the beach…

Once the movement begins, the healthier choices begin, the spiral makes a 180 and you discover more energy, fewer aches and pains, and in my case no more pharmaceuticals. (I’m down 55 pounds and off 6 prescription meds for good.)

If you’d like more information on how to Feel Good Fast then subscribe to my blog, or contact me to get your health 180 started.  We can get you facing in the right direction and help you to Feel Good Fast too!