What is the best diet?


This is a great question!

Really, what is the best diet?

That’s like asking what is the best size shoe. Think about it…

I wear a size 7 women’s shoe.  Some shoes – I actually need a size 6.5.  There have been a few times that I needed a size 6.  Then – there are the shoes that are generic…  S   M   L   or 5/6, 7/8, 9/10 – I almost always have to go with the smallest option.

Then – the brands…Nike, UGG, Target, Toms…

Then – the style…flip flops, house shoes, slip ons, running shoes, dress shoes…

Every single foot is different. Every single shoe is different. Not just the brand or style is different, but the style within the brand.

So, my point is: to ask which diet is the best is the same as asking which size shoe is the best.  Notice that I’m not saying which shoe is the best. That fact is less debatable.  There are several shoes which are actually, factually, common sensically better. There are several shoes that will do in a pinch. There are cheap shoes that are good for lots of reasons. But to ask which size shoe is the best…that’s not even answerable.

I wear size 7.  My daughter wears size 7.  So we must love the same shoes, right? Her shoes must fit me very well. My favorite running shoes should also be her favorite running shoes, right? No way.

Here’s a conversation that will never happen:

Person A: “These are my favorite running shoes. I bought you a pair because I hear you love to run.  These are the best.”

Person 2: “Great, I love them. I see they are a size 6 narrow and I wear a size 8 wide…and Nikes usually make my tendon blister and my heel hurt, but yes – I tried these on and they are perfect. Thank you for giving me these great shoes. I love them!”

But diet / nutrition conversations do usually go like this:

Person 1: “This is the best diet / eating lifestyle. I hear you are interested in your health. This is the best.

Person B: “Great, I love eating that way. I see you eat lots of protein and fats. I’ve got gallbladder issues and can’t really process fat.  I’m also allergic to nuts, but that high nut serving sounds great. Thank you for sharing this great way of eating. I love it!”

That might be a bit extreme – but when we say that this diet or that diet is the best – you are assuming that every single person is made just like you.  That will never be the case. Even people with similar genetic make-up will have different food needs and tastes. Every one processes food differently, whether it’s carbs, meat, juice, alcohol, fruit, veggies…

I’m not going to go into specific diets here. I’ll save that as a day-by-day topic. But, please stop assuming that what I do will work for you or what you do will work for me.  That’s not how it works.


Why I do what I do


I love helping people. I’m a teacher. I teach children about how to learn. It doesn’t matter what subject I teach – I’m still just teaching children how to learn. They have to learn how to figure things out: things they don’t want to learn about, things they have difficulty learning about, things they couldn’t care any less about, things that are easy to learn about that they need to take to the next level. It’s why I do what I do.  In life, we must all learn how to do things. We have to learn how to be nice to mean people, how to operate computer programs that are ridiculous, how to pay bills, how to stay in relationships, how to get out of relationships, how to take care of loved ones.

So, I teach. I love teaching. But what makes me happy? It makes me happy when someone wants to know something and they ask me first. I get emails and messages and phone calls all of the time. People think of me when they want to know something…when they want to learn something. Sometimes I wonder why they just don’t look it up on Google themselves. I believe it might be because they know I enjoy helping them. In some small human way, they know that they are making me happy by asking me questions. Like when we let my mom bring 15 steaks for our family of five. It makes her happy. Like cashing a $5 check from grandma  – it just makes her feel good.

Why do I teach people about their health?

I love to research and discuss. I love discovering and making connections. Science, religion, psychology, philosophy, social…I love it all. So many interesting things are going on all around us – new discoveries every second…big and small.  There are so many people out there that need something. I feel fairly safe saying that everyone needs something. Everyone is lacking…or feels they are lacking…in some area. Money. Health. Love. Strength. Peace. Rest. Energy. Relationships. Confidence. Patience. Worth. Family. Joy.

I believe that with some knowledge- and support – people are able to fill the holes. That sounds silly to those of you who haven’t tried changing your diet.  For those that love healthy eating like I do, you are nodding your head…yes – that’s true. Filling the body with wholesome, nutritious food brings things into perspective like never before. Perhaps the holes fill themselves with proper nutrition. The desire to be something else…to have something else…comes from our brain. Some people believe that this emptiness comes from something Biblical. Others believe it to be more spiritual or universal. Others maybe feel that it’s scientific…that emptiness or desire to move on to the next level. That desire to be better today than you were yesterday. Some sort of survival of the fittest.

But…if you think about it, all of these feelings come from your own brain. Your hypothalamus regulates your basic needs and emotions: relationships, behaviors, hunger, thirst, and sleep. When these things – or even just one of them – is out of whack, everything can just get out of sorts. It leaves you wanting more. If you can’t have more money, or more joy, or more health, or more sleep, or more relationships…what do you do? Do you try to get more or do you just go the easy route and get more of something that is easily obtainable? Food? Drink? Chocolate? Ice cream? Maybe.

What makes me promote health?

I love being a health and wellness representative. People contact me with real problems that they think I can fix: I can’t sleep, I have migraines, I have eczema, I have stomach trouble, I crave junk, I am sad all of the time, I can’t lose weight, I can’t fit into my clothes. They have been watching me and watching my posts and watching my blog and when they’ve finally had enough – when they’ve finally reached their limit of frustration with themselves – they contact me.

I wish they would contact me before they get to their breaking point. They wait for that blog post or picture on Facebook that makes them cry. Then they reach out for help. But they know they need it now. I wish I could figure out how to get people to try it before they break down.

You don’t have to wait!  If you are feeling out of sorts, empty, lost, frustrated with yourself, generally crappy, lonely, angry, annoyed…whether it’s because of your choices or people around you…when you feel good about choices you are making for yourself – these feelings start to go away. If you are doing something for yourself to improve your health – you will be filled with purpose and determination. You will know that the little things are just little things. You will see yourself as a work in progress. You will see that when you can focus on the good you are doing, all of the negative drama that surrounds you has no footing in your life. You can just move on.

The promise

With consistent healthy eating, your body and mind will be well.  You might notice right away or you might be mentally or physically resistant to change. For example – I’m an immediate gratification type of person. If I run one day, I expect to see a difference right away. If I clean house for 10 minutes, I expect it to stay clean for a week. If I water the grass, it should be noticeably greener immediately.  If I make a little effort, I expect big returns. But we know that life just doesn’t work that way. We have to be consistent. Again, whether you are religious, spiritual, scientific, philosophic, or just getting by – one thing is universal…positive change takes time. It’s like the river eroding the stone.

Going back to the fact that I’m a teacher. We spend 13 – 18 years in school. We build on our knowledge every year. We learn the same basic principles every year…twenty thousand different ways. We learn different ways to take notes, take tests, do homework, work in teams, communicate with teachers, process information. Think about the fact that every year we learn about the same thing. We just learn differently and in incrementally more detail.  We learn about the same things repeatedly – but it takes years for our brains to take ownership of that information…to really understand it. It’s the same thing with our health – we have to come at it repeatedly and in different methods – we have to be told time and time again. We have to experience and suffer, and then we decide to make changes. But the seed is there. You know you have something that could be better. Don’t expect it to change overnight. Expect yourself to do great things over time.

Give it time.

Make the change.




Making it Right…how to get a child to actually “be” sorry / apologize


For years, it has been debated on whether or not to have a child say “I’m sorry” to someone who they have wronged.  I’ve seen parents and caregivers have 12 month olds say “I’m sorry” to peers – when obviously there is no feeling behind it.  I have always felt that when we do that, we are actually demoting the sincerity of the apology and creating children who don’t really care about their actions.

My history of being sorry and apologizing

I’m a firm believer in not ever apologizing for something more than once.  If I wrong you, repeatedly, then it means that I have a character flaw and can’t or won’t do anything about it.  For example, if I cheat on you after a night of drunkenness – then I will feel regret. But, when I get caught, and say “I’m sorry” what am I sorry for? Getting caught? Cheating? Getting drunk? Breaking the rules of relationships? Hurting you?  So – to say I’m sorry that one time…yes, that’s understandable as long as it’s sincere and NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN. If it happens again, then that’s not a fluke. That’s a character flaw.  Okay – so drunken cheating is a bad example….let’s say that I have a texting relationship with someone far away. Texting something inappropriate one time…then thinking about it….realizing it was inappropriate and NEVER DOING IT AGAIN – that’s something to be sorry for. But carrying on a texting relationship for years? That’s a character flaw. It’s premeditated. It’s just wrong.  Okay – so that’s another strong example. Stealing? Same thing. Heat of the moment – not thinking straight.  Feeling regret and making it right and never doing it again… that’s feeling sorry about something.

An adult should never have to apologize for something twice.  If it’s who you are, you can’t change that. If you’re a cheater, drunk, thief – that’s no reason to apologize. That’s a reason to get help.  Also, don’t ever apologize for how I feel: “I’m sorry you’re mad” is not an apology. Think about that for a bit.

A less extreme example?  I don’t know – being an adult is complicated and extreme by nature. Let’s talk about how to do “sorry” with kids.

How to get a child to say “sorry” and mean it

Let’s say that two children are playing nicely in the sand box.  Bobby has a blue shovel;  Katie has a red shovel. Katie takes the blue shovel from Bobby and makes him cry.  Now she has two shovels. What now? The caregiver (parent, nanny, babysitter, teacher) goes over and talks to Bobby first.

Adult: Bobby, tell me what happened. Why are you crying? (don’t infer feelings by asking “why are you sad?” He might not be sad…)

Bobby: Katie took my shovel.

Adult: Oh Bobby, you go talk to Katie and tell her how you feel.

Bobby: Katie, I don’t like that. I’m not done.

Katie: But, but, yadda, yadda…

Adult: Katie, you took that shovel without asking for your turn.  Tell Bobby that what you did was wrong.

Katie: Bobby, I shouldn’t have taken that shovel from you. It was wrong to not ask first. I won’t do it again. Do you forgive me? May I have a turn when you are finished?  (with lots of coaching)

Adult: Bobby, do you forgive her? Can she be next?

Bobby: Of course! (Hugs Katie) I forgive you, here’s to blue shovel!

Yeah, right!

Okay, so you get the point:

The “victim” gets the attention first.

Don’t assign feelings to either one. Just make observations about behavior.

Help the “victim” address the “attacker” by using his or her words.

The “attacker” needs to say that what they did was wrong, why it was wrong, that they won’t do it again, and ask for forgiveness.

There must be a resolution of some sort with closure or further action needed.

Here’s another example of getting a child to apologize

Sara and Mike are riding tricycles. Their wheels get tangled up and both are screaming mad. Mike gets off his trike, bites Sara on the hand, and pushes her off the trike.

Adult: Sara! Are you okay? That looks like it hurt. What happened?

Sara:  He…he…he…MY TRIKE!!!!

Adult: Mike, you get off the trike and come make this right with Sara, do you understand? You bit her and that is not okay. Talk to Sara and see if you can help her feel better.

Mike: Sara, I shouldn’t have bitten you. It was wrong for me to get so angry and hurt you. I won’t do it again. Do you forgive me? (of course with lots of adult help to say these things when the children are so young)

Sara: No, I don’t. I’m very hurt and angry right now. Maybe I’ll talk to you again soon, but my hand really hurts…

Anyway – so you get the idea. It’s not ever going to happen like this, but this is an example of where you’d like it to go eventually.  Getting the children to just say sorry – that’s a piece of cake.

What if the child won’t apologize?

Then the child needs to go sit out until he or she is ready to at least make an attempt. By 24 months old, a child should be able to offer hugs. Then, the adult needs to role play the situation for the children – saying the words, getting the children to look at each other, nodding and hugging – that sort of thing. It will become increasingly more elaborate and self-regulated as the children age and have more exposure to this routine.

I have 30 month olds in my care that can do this on their own with very little coaching from an adult. They are able to complete the cycle from beginning to end – even putting themselves in “time-out” until they are ready to start the apologizing process.

Now…getting adults to apologize –  that’s a different story! If people would just stop screwing up, there’d be no need!





What is Gluten, anyway?


Did you know that gluten comes from the Latin word for glue?

So, honestly – I research a lot.

I love to Google things. I am addicted to my smart phone – as I can Google anything.

For example:

of what continent is Greenland a part?

what is the population of Death Valley?

who is the real Ethan Allen?

show me all the satellites orbiting the earth

what is the average rain fall in Dublin…on September 15?

what is … Well, you get the point. I could go on.

They call me Google Sr. But, in all my Googling and researching and talking about healthy diets and nutrition, I never REALLY understood what gluten does. I even…several years ago…was tested for Celiac’s. It came back negative, but I believe that I do have a sensitivity to gluten. But why? I have no idea. I mean, of course I don’t really know why I might have a sensitivity to gluten. But, the point is – I’m not sure what makes me THINK I have a sensitivity to gluten. What reactions? don’t know. What adverse affects? don’t know.

Then I realized that maybe I was jumping on a bandwagon just because.  I had become that person. So…in complete awe of my lack of knowledge, I finally Googled it AFTER my husband asked me…

What is Gluten, anyway?

Basically, gluten is a protein in wheat (durum, emmer, spelt, farina, farro, KAMUT® khorasan wheat and einkorn), rye, barley and triticale. I only understand what wheat, faro, rye, and barley are for sure. The other names … I’ll get to them eventually. But for now, I’m focusing on what I already know (wheat, rye, barley, and faro. I’m afraid to go any deeper. I get lost easily). So – gluten is like a glue of sorts. It’s what holds a lot of bread-type foods together. Wheat is commonly found in:

  • breads
  • baked goods
  • soups
  • pasta
  • cereals
  • sauces
  • salad dressings
  • roux

Barley is commonly found in:

  • malt
  • food coloring
  • soups
  • malt vinegar
  • beer

Rye is commonly found in:

  • rye bread, such as pumpernickel
  • rye beer
  • cereals

Oh! and then I found it: Triticale is a newer type of grain that has been formulated to be easier to grow in different environments and conditions. Again, I’m not going to get into that TOO much…but now I’m wondering if that means it’s a GMO grain. I did discover that it’s found in cereals, pastas, and breads. I wonder if I’m looking for wheat and rye – in order to avoid those ingredients – if I would even know to look for triticale? Probably not. And gluten is in salad dressing? I didn’t know that either. So – I’m learning a lot as I go.

What all has gluten?

I’m not going to get into all the obvious things that have gluten: normal breads and pastas, pastries, cereals, and crackers…etc. Basically, anything that has flour of any type has gluten. But, something that I didn’t even really think about is all the hidden stuff that has gluten. Fortunately, these days, most things that are gluten-free are labeled.  But, that wasn’t always the case. Here are some big surprises for me: beer has gluten! rice cakes can have gluten! corn flakes can have gluten! soy sauce can have gluten! anything made with a thickener / roux has gluten! Of course this is true…but I just didn’t think about it.  I sometimes use a cornstarch to as a thickener…not flour. But – there you go!

Other possible sources of gluten:

French fries, potato chips, processed lunch meats, candy, candy bars, brown rice syrup, scrambled eggs from restaurants, sauces, milk shakes, cheesecake filling, meat substitutes (like veggie burgers and tofu). Even some medicines have gluten. Again…these MIGHT have gluten, but WOW!

What are gluten-allergy symptoms?

gluten-free, what is gluten, what is gluten-free, what are the symptoms of gluten allergy, what are the symptoms of celiac's There have been more than 250 symptoms of gluten sensitivity reported: bloating, abdominal discomfort or pain, constipation and diarrhea being the most common. Other symptoms besides the intestinal kind might also be present: muscular disturbances and bone or joint pain. Apparently, ingesting gluten – if you are allergic or sensitive – can cause major inflammation and nutritional absorption issues. These two things alone can be the cause of a multitude of other issues including migraines, depression, ADHD, moodiness, acne, fatigue, sleep disorders, congestion and mucus / coughing, aches, pains, and some believe also very serious diseases – like rheumatoid arthritis.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about Celiac’s – Coeliac disease is caused by a reaction to gliadin, a prolamin (gluten protein) found in wheat, and similar proteins found in the crops of the tribe Triticeae (which includes other common grains such as barley and rye).[5]Upon exposure to gliadin, and specifically to three peptides found in prolamins, the enzyme tissue transglutaminase modifies the protein, and the immune system cross-reacts with the small-bowel tissue, causing an inflammatory reaction. That leads to a truncating of the villi lining the small intestine (called villous atrophy). This interferes with the absorption of nutrients because the intestinal villi are responsible for absorption. The only known effective treatment is a lifelong gluten-free diet.[5] While the disease is caused by a reaction to wheat proteins, it is not the same as wheat allergy.

That’s a lot of information and sciency stuff – but, now we know what Celiac’s and gluten is and why we might be sensitive. What do I take away from all of this? I think I’m going to go gluten-free for just a few weeks. I’m going to continue on with my Plexus stuff, but taking away gluten is my next big step toward health. I know that hypoglycemics shouldn’t have flours and processed carbs, anyway. So this will be super great for me! I’ll report back, but do you all have any thoughts on this? Experience with gluten-free? Connections with other diseases or disorders? Inform me! [contact-form][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][contact-field label='Website' type='url'/][contact-field label='Comment' type='textarea' required='1'/][/contact-form] Here’s my product page, if you’d like to get started on a healthier you! Here are some links to other pages / posts about: IBS and Crohn’s Skin issues related to Candida Auto-immune Allergies and Asthma

How to quit drinking soda


First of all – congratulations! You are on the right track to a healthier you! It’s important that, like with all recovery situations, you acknowledge the problem.  It sounds silly, like an intervention, but by searching ways to quit drinking soda, you are admitting that there is a problem.

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Soda is Addictive

Over half of Americans drink soda every day.  That’s 7.5 billions of gallons of soda every year…just for Americans. That’s literally tons of soda. Why is it so addictive? For some people to quit, they need to understand what makes it addictive in the first place.  It’s like when my husband finally decided to quit smoking: it wasn’t the money, the stained teeth, the smelly clothes, the health implications even…it was the science behind the addiction that made him quit. Once he discovered that his addiction was a game that the tobacco companies where playing with his mind, body, health, and wallet – that’s when he had to quit.  He didn’t like being a puppet.  So, even if that’s not what motivates you to quit – maybe it will help you to understand why you are addicted.

Why is soda bad for you?

It’s a very simple mixture of extremely dangerous ingredients: extremely high levels of sugar / high fructose corn syrup, corrosive phosphoric acid, ‘natural’ caramel coloring, and a well-known drug that has a powerful effect on your brain chemistry – caffeine.

A regular Coke (I’ll talk about diet sodas later) has about 10 – 17 teaspoons of sugar. At any given time, we should only have about one teaspoon of sugar in our blood.  That means – our body is able to healthily handle just a smidge of sugar…and ideally that sugar would come from fruits and veggies, but even straight up sugar or corn syrup…one teaspoon is about all it needs to function.  What happens to that extra sugar? It makes your blood sugar crazy – causing highs and lows, mood swings, hunger binges, diabetes, hypoglycemia, obesity, and hormonal imbalances. You become addicted to the sugar in ways you can’t understand without a science degree.

What about diet sodas? The lack of sugar doesn’t make it any better. The aspartame or artificial sweetener can kick start kidney problems, cause metabolic syndrome, disrupt your body’s method of processing calories, damage cells, and rot your teeth. Not to mention that drinking sweet stuff promotes sweet addiction – so you’ll still crave sweets in other forms.

The phosphoric acid in soda is a 2.5 ph…battery acid is a 1 and water is a 7. The body uses other much-needed minerals to bring that acid to safe levels…minerals that are needed to keep osteoporosis and bone fractures at bay. If you are pulling those minerals out of your system to combat acid…they aren’t doing their intended job.

The ‘natural’ caramel coloring in sodas like Pepsi and Coke is made by reacting sugar with sulfites and ammonia under high temperatures – which, even though I can research how this is bad for us, I don’t need to. It just sounds wrong.

Then…there’s CAFFEINE.  Caffeine is, besides sugar, one of the most addictive things we put in our body. It’s legal and most (80%) of Americans use it daily.  Again, I can tell you all about adenosine and how its job is to slow down nerve activity…and caffeine blocks that from happening…so you speed up. But, caffeine is addictive…like sugar. So – you’re addicted to soda. Your brain is dependent on soda. It craves soda. It needs soda to function at a “normal” level. And it’s extremely difficult to break that addiction. Read here for more on addiction.

So, How Do I Quit Drinking Soda?


Drink at least half your body weight in water each day. If you weigh 150 pounds, you need to drink a minimum of 75 ounces of water daily.


If you drink soda in social settings, tell your friends to help you stop. Sometimes, joining a Facebook or online support group is enough to hold you accountable. Or – just being verbal about your desire to quit is enough. Do lots of research about it.


There are lots of safer ways to get caffeine than a soda. The sugar, chemicals, and “refreshing” nature (carbonation) of soda also play into their appeal – but play into their dangers as well.  Green tea and cacao  – even coffee – offer safer alternatives to soda. Caffeine isn’t the only bad thing in soda. It’s a complete, awful package all rolled into one.

The Number One Way that I Kicked my Soda / Diet Soda Habit

A balanced diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables.  Join our next Clean Eating Challenge or check out our Facebook Support Group here:  http://facebook.com/groups/fitnessandnutritionsupport


How to keep to 1200 calories to lose weight


First, most people have no idea how many calories they consume every day.  I am never honest with how many calories I eat - I usually restrict my meals, but snacking is what gets me.  At night, while fixing my kid’s sack lunches for the next day, I’d eat a spoonful of peanut butter…that’s about 200 calories right before bed.  Then I might eat a little jelly, or a little more peanut butter…it was awful for me! While I’d fix dinner, I’d snack on some tortillas or cheese, or even veggies / fruit. Then I’d eat dinner – then eat a little of what was left on my kids’ plates…then a bite or two of left-overs (that’s not enough to save for tomorrow, but not enough to throw away!) then I’d eat that peanut butter.  No exercise.  Maybe a glass of wine or a cocktail…I’d sabotage every effort that I made that day during a two or three hour time-frame at night.  That’s one of the main reasons that I decided to give Plexus Slim a try. I needed to feel fuller, stop the cravings, increase my will power, and just feel better about life and myself so I’d be less likely to emotional-binge.  And it worked! Plexus products really made a difference – so much that I did more research on what all it takes to lose that extra weight.  Here’s what I discovered:

Calorie needs

I went to a calorie needs calculator to find out about my caloric needs. I googled “calorie needs calculator” and this is what I decided to use – there are 100s of options – I just picked the first one.


Then, I filled out the little form. I’m 5’2″ and currently weigh 120 pounds. That might not sound like a lot, but it’s 12 pounds more than I want to weigh. Keep this in mind: if you are 5’8″, you are 6 inches taller than me.  Each inch over 5 feet is about 5 pounds.  That means that I weigh the equivalent of you weighing 150 pounds.  I want to weigh 108 – so that’s the equivalent of 138.

So, the form determined the following:


You should consume about 1,200 calories a day to reach your goal weight of 108 lbs . This is at a reasonable weight loss average of 0.38 lbs per week, which should be reached by February 20, 2015.

Experts recommend weight loss at the rate of 0.5-2 lbs/week. Remember that this estimate is based on your body weight, height, age, gender, and activity level. It may vary slightly depending on other factors.

Generally, women should not consume any less than 1,200 calories per day, and men should not consume less than 1,500 calories per day.

Read that again…    .38 pounds per week!  That’s such a small amount – and they recommend that I take until February to lose 12 pounds.  WOW!

Keep in mind that I’ve already lost 20 pounds since starting Plexus products in February 2014 (it’s July 2014 now)…and I’d lost 14 pounds two years ago from using a super low-calorie diet.  I had a baby in 2009 (and as with the other two pregnancies, I bubbled up to 175 pounds). Since I was almost 40 for the last baby, it was 50 times more difficult to drop that last baby weight.

How much is a pound?

Another thing I discovered is that 3500 calories equals one pound. So – overeating 3500 calories will result in gaining a pound.  Not burning 3500 calories results in gaining a pound. Restricting your calories by 3500 calories will result in losing a pound.  Burning an extra 3500 calories will result in losing a pound.

BUT…consider the fact that if you’ve been gaining a two pounds a month…you are eating 7000 calories too much every month.  If you want to maintain your current weight, you’ll need to cut out 7000 calories every month.  But if you want to lose two pounds a month – you’ll need to cut out 14,000 calories a month from what you eat right now!  Read that again.  That’s a lot of calories.  Now – what if you want to lose two pounds a week?  That’s a lot to cut out!

So – losing .38 pounds per week sounds like nothing, but it’s (as we know) harder than it sounds…it always is.

I’ve decided to count calories for a month to see what I really eat and what I really burn.  I’m supposed to eat 1200 calories a day to lose weight. They say not to consume less than 1200 calories a day (in order to stay healthy), but I also believe a day or two of fasting is good for me.  If I need consume less than 1200 calories in order to lose weight – I’m making a commitment to actually burn the extra. So – I’m going to focus on a 1200 calorie intake – with a 300 calorie burn every day.  I’ll see where that takes me.

Calorie counter

I’m going to use MyFitnessPal to count calories when I can’t use my pre-counted food.

I’ll post my pre-counted food for the week tomorrow – since I’ll be grocery shopping, juice-prepping, and bagging up everything. Also…my walking / mom-ercise will start…more on that tomorrow as well.

If you are curious about how I lost that 20 pounds, or what I’m doing to feel so much better about life, and more motivated to get healthy – browse around this blog. There is a ton of health and science information concerning my recent journey.

Follow this blog to follow my next weight-loss challenge and success (or failures) to come!


Candida and Anxiety



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Depression and anxiety can be caused by Candida overgrowth. Probiotics can help.

Candida and Anxiety

I had heard of probiotics helping with skin infections and issues like eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, etc. My older daughter had been suffering from cradle cap…and she was 17 years old!  Think…big, yellow, flakey, scales like a baby gets on its scalp – but much, much worse. I had read that probiotics could help with the yeast that causes this…as we had been to the dermatologist countless times and spent countless dollars on treatment… of the symptoms.  But, I hadn’t really heard about probiotics helping people with anxiety (other than getting rid of that pesky itching).

I was hooked after I read about the spit test and Candida infection. Apparently, I scored really high on the Candida test.   One of the first things I noticed…within days…was that much of the anxiety that I was previously feeling was gone. Anxiety from having three children. Anxiety from being married…albeit I’m married to an amazing man who loves and cherishes me…marriage is stressful. Anxiety from working full time. Anxiety from money issues. Anxiety from getting old (I’m 42…which I know isn’t really old…I am getting old).

There is plenty of support out there that Candida causes anxiety

Candida is a fungus that lurks within your digestive track. It causes nutrients to not be absorbed – it causes fluctuations in blood sugar, and it causes inflammation and pain.

I would have never thought that a fungus was living in my body. This fungus is what helps the body breakdown after we die…it’s not supposed to be thriving until after we are dead.  BUT – because of our diets – full of yeast, toxins, processed junk, sugar, and chemicals – Candida is taking over our systems.  I’m not totally sure if the anxiety was caused by my sugar intake feeding the Candida, the toxins released by the Candida, or the lack of oxygen and nutrients because of the Candida blocking my intestines. Maybe the Candida was in my brain and screwing things up in there. Maybe the Candida was causing me to crave the worst possible foods – which were making me unhealthy and tired – which caused the anxiety. I really have no idea how all that works and ties together. Maybe it’s all of it.  The whole thing was just making me sick mentally and physically. I want to point out that I’ve done research. Again, you can look through all of my posts and pages and find lots of science behind the whys of sickness, craziness, moodiness, tiredness…it’s all in here somewhere.

The point is: I feel great!

I don’t really need to know the why anymore, because the cause is gone. I fixed myself without prescriptions. I actually fixed the cause instead of treating the symptoms.

There is plenty of support out there that wonky blood sugar causes anxiety, moodiness, and depression

Blood sugar regulates your body in many ways…including your hypothalamus. I’ve talked about it before…in pages and posts.  Feel free to browse around the menu to read about these issues, but the bottom line is: it is fact that your blood sugar levels going crazy will also cause you to be out of whack. Grouchy, moody, hungry, sleepy, sluggish, angry, anxious, depressed…super highs and lows emotionally.  A balanced, nutritional diet will help you regulate your blood sugar levels. That is what makes clean eating so amazing!  You can try it for yourself – HERE! I have written reviews, posted testimonies, made videos, done the research for you. It works!


How to change a husband’s eating habits


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This is true…Dennis shopping

How to get a husband to take care of himself.

I got Dennis to eat better – because I was going to live a long, long time – and he didn’t want to leave me (read: die) to live out the rest of my happy, healthy life alone.  Maybe it was when we had the last baby. He was 40ish when she was born.  Maybe it was all the science studies he was doing. He discovered a ton of information about genetics, disease, diet, and longevity. Maybe it was his commitment to quit smoking. He learned about our body’s reaction to addiction. Whatever the case may be, Dennis now juices and eats vegetables. My husband never, ever ate greens. Well, occasionally he would take a nibble of broccoli or a bite of cauliflower.  He would eat salad, but pile on the cheese and ranch dressing first.  And bacon.

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It doesn’t have to be like this…

Introduction to health -

After introducing him to Joe (Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead) and his amazing work, my husband started eating veggies, juicing at dinner (and still eating, but drinking his juice and eating his veggies first), and avoiding fast food at lunch.  Dennis has never had a weight problem – that WAS the problem.  He is fit and trim. Every time he would go to the doctor (about once every five years) he was told that he was fit as a fiddle and everything looked great. I wish the doctor would have told Dennis a lie. Something like: oh my gosh, you’re over weight, your lipids are all out of whack, your heart is screwy!  But, nope. He always got a clean bill of health – so why would he ever stop eating junk?  Once he decided to quit smoking – in 2011 – he realized how addictive things are in our lives: cigarettes, sweets, carbs, fat, etc.  So, we decided to make the change.  More organic, real food. Juicing at least 4 times a week. Very, very little processed foods.  Of course, there is no marker of improvement on his health – again, he was always given a clean bill at the doctor.  BUT, we feel great! We’ve incorporated some other lifestyle changes (other than smoking and eating) and supplemented with some probiotics and such.  My oldest daughter has started juicing – and is encouraging her younger siblings to do the same…mostly so she’s not the only one left to take care of us when we are 150 years old.

What to juice – All About Juicing


Juicing is pretty intense.

I put a lot into it every week:

selecting the ingredients, cutting, washing, sorting, storing, then the actual juicing. But, it doesn’t have to be all that daunting.

What I Buy

Every week, I buy:

1 bunch of kale

1 bunch of bok choy or collard greens

1 bag of brussels sprouts

5 small beets (with or without the greens)

2 bunches of celery

2 pounds of carrots

sometimes ginger

1 bag of red apples

1 bag of green apples

5 small grapefruit

Preparing to Juice

On Saturday or Sunday, I cut, wash, and separate all the ingredients except the apples and grapefruit. Those I wash and cut the night of the juicing. I have a washtub that I keep in the fridge that holds 5 bags of prepared juice veggies…

The above weekly ingredients will make about 5 bags for juicing.

There will be about 3 or 4 carrots, 4 or 5 celery stalks, one small beet, small handful of kale, bok choy, and / or collard greens, 3 to 5 brussels sprouts, very small amount of ginger in each bag.

I use as much of the stalks as possible.

I use organic as much as possible – especially the kale, celery, carrots, and apples. Those absorb the most bad stuff when not organic.

I don’t really peel anything, except the beets.

The Night of the JUICING…

So, while I’m fixing dinner…I core the apples and peel the grapefruit. I get out the bag that was prepared over the weekend, and I juice away. It makes about 20 ounces – which I split with my husband.

I drink mine with a straw -  Dennis just guzzles. He literally downs it with one big gulp!

I also add diatomaceous earth and chia seeds. Again…that is for another post – but I love these two products!

Juicing is sometimes daunting. But, it doesn’t have to be overly time consuming or challenging.

I still eat a little dinner – but not nearly as much. I try to drink the juice first…on an empty stomach. And really, after drinking 8-10 ounces of juice, I’m not that hungry. There just isn’t room for all those calories…I mean greasy meat and fatty pasta…I mean other food.

Of course juicing is just one option for a healthy diet.  For most people, just eating a well-balanced diet is enough to maintain optimum health.  Be sure to join our Clean Eating Challenge!




Earth Day should be every day

I’ve been seeing a lot about Earth Day…and just saying, but everyday should be about taking care of yourself and taking care of the planet. My husband, Dennis, and I juice fairly regularly. We go through bursts of every night…then, baseball, soccer, school, crying kids, late nights at the park…get in the way. So – mostly, we juice 3 – 5 times per week. I’ll post our tried and true recipe in a bit, but first:

My older daughter, 17, juices with us – especially during cross country and track season. She doesn’t mind the juice at all, it’s just a matter of getting her home to eat dinner with us so she CAN drink  the juice.

My son, 12, pretty much refuses to drink it. He’ll try occasionally. Usually, if he’s had stomach problems from sneaking too much junk or chocolate (yes, chocolate is NOT junk…it’s just chocolate).  Anyway, my daughter got so frustrated with him on night, she yelled, “Come ON!  Drink the juice! Mom and Dad are going to live to be 150 years old…and I’m not going to be the only one left to take care of them! Drink. The. Juice!”   He drank about 6 ounces. We were happy.

So, yes…take care of the Earth. Take care of yourself. We are the same matter that’s been around on this planet for 4.6 billion years. Nothing new is actually created – it just gets shuffled around.

We are the beets, rocks, stardust, and kale.