Me First

Dear readers and friends, please prepare yourself for the most controversial thing I have ever published. Instructions that go against what we are generally taught to do. But stick with me, there is rationale behind this belief that, I promise, will come full-circle and not seem so stinking evil.

Primed? OK, here it goes.YouAreSuchARockStar

You are #1. Really.

Put yourself first and you will be so much better equipped to love, serve, and care for others.

I understand this goes against all conventional thinking and what we are guilted by society to believe. It can be a message that falls somewhere between a hard pill to swallow and a total mind-blower.

Putting yourself first does not mean that you neglect those around you. It does not mean that you no longer treat others as you would like to be treated. It is not even selfish, not when you take in the bigger picture.

You are going to have a hard time playing with your young kids or grandkids outside if you do not first take care of your own physical health, exercising and staying active. Getting winded kicking the soccer ball around or while tromping around the neighborhood park is not because you are older or because you have already had a long day. You are getting winded and tired playing with the kids because you have not put your own needs for good physical stamina at the forefront.

Going to work and doing your job day-in and day-out may get to feeling tedious and like you are on a constant cycle of being overworked and underpaid if you do not first feed yourself and feel satisfied before you ever hit the office door in the mornings. Spending some high-quality YOU TIME before it is time to start the jam-packed schedule will do wonders for your well-being. Taking time to meditate, study or read, sit and enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee or tea, and maybe even watch the sun rise will, in turn, energize you for the day ahead. You will get more accomplished once you get going and you will feel better about what you are accomplishing, too!

When you make sure that YOU are healthy and happy, you can care for and serve those you love better than ever before! By putting your needs first, you eliminate the bitterness and resentment that comes with the busyness of parenthood, spousehood, employeehood, serving on every board and committee and still trying so hard to fit in time to take a shower in peace.

Place yourself, your health and your mental well-being at the top of your to-do list and watch how fulfilled and ready to pour your improved energy and enthusiasm on those you love most! You will serve others better by first taking the best care of yourself!

Go get ’em, ROCK STAR!

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,



I adore baking treats that are just low in sugar and “healthy” enough that they trick my kids into thinking they’re an indulgence, when really they’re also suitable for a breakfast addition or a snack. This recipe for the most amazing pumpkin muffins hits the mark! Here we go…

Mix all of this deliciousness in one large bowl:wpid-img_25271.jpg

  • 2 c pumpkin puree
    • I like to use the fresh pumpkin guts this time of year, but if you don’t like all of the mess that goes with that, feel free to use the standard 15ish oz can of pumpkin.
    • IF you are going to go with the fresh pumpkin, puree it in the blender before adding it to break up any stringiness.
  • 1/2 c raw sugar
  • 3/4 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 1/2 T vegetable or coconut oil
  • 2 c your choice of flour
  • 3 t baking powder
  • 1/4 c pepitas (which is just a fancy name for pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts (or your choice of nuts…which are completely optional)

Notice anything? Oh, like these muffins are completely vegan. Oh yeah…double bonus! Unbelievably delicious and also happen to be free of animal gunk. Good times!!!

Mix it all up and you’re ready to bake.

Now is the time to get your oven warming. We’ll cook these babies at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

While your oven is warming, grease your muffin tin with your choice of oils. I prefer a dab of veggie or coconut oil for each, then spread it around the muffin tin to evenly cover the bottoms and side of each slot.

Fill your muffins each to about 3/4 full! I know this is more than the standard muffin recipe will call for, but these are deliciously dense and hearty, so they won’t fluff and run all over the place like some crazy egg-based muffins would 🙂

*Makes about a dozen muffins*

If you would like, you can also sprinkle some extra fun on the tops of your muffins once they’re in the tin but before they’re baked. I chose to top mine with some dry-roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds for a bit of extra nuttiness, but you could also use the pepitas or chopped nuts for a topping, as well!

When your oven has reached temp, these beauties will bake for somewhere in the 40-50 minute range, but just watch them, occasionally stick a toothpick in them, and judge for yourself.

When they’re ready:

  1. the toothpick will be mostly dry (they’re still going to be pretty dense muffins, so some of that pumpkin is bound to stick…)
  2. the edges of the muffin will start to pull away from the sides of the muffin tin
  3. the edges of the muffins will have turned a beautiful golden brown

After pulling the pan out of the oven, allow to rest for about 3 minutes before running a butter knife around the edges of each muffin, and removing the muffins from the tin to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

These delicious treats are sure to become a new family favorite in your household! Now…go get your pumpkin on!

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,


How Much Can Your Body Change in Just One Week?

So, how much do YOU think your body can change in just one week? We certainly know how much fat and fluff we can gain so easily over a holiday week or the battle of the bulge we fight from about Halloween through Valentine’s day each year, but how much positive change can you see in a short time frame?

How much fat can you lose?

How much tighter and stronger can your feel?

How much more energetic can you be?

How much healthier can you become in just one week?

That’s the goal here! To make BIG changes in one week, so that we can focus on short term goals in order to see REALLY BIG changes over the course of weeks and months. Rather than biting off a 6 week or even 6 month health and fitness goal, our goal is to focus on short term bursts. Focus on today, focus on this week; then, at the end of this week, then you’ll start thinking about the next week. Our goal is for these goals to be attainable, less overwhelming, and still big enough to see and feel the difference in your body and in your health every week!

This week-long challenge will be three things in order to make the biggest changes without taking big chunks out of your day like some diet and exercise plans can do. Here’s what we’re looking at:

1) This will not be overly time consuming

2) It will not be overly expensive

3) It will be measurable

RULE ONE: THIS WILL NOT BE OVERLY TIME CONSUMING. Food prep and exercise for this program will be necessary, but it will not consume your days. I will exercise no more than one hour a day on the days that I do train (4-5 days a week), and there will be days when I split my exercise times into shorter intervals over the course of the day. Some days I may hit the gym and train for almost an hour, then there will be other days when I work out 20 minutes in the morning and another 30 minutes that afternoon. We are such a busy culture of people, whether you are a mom or a student or any other mere mortal, our schedules stay jam packed with to-do’s and obligations, so this will not take away from your normal life, it will only add spark and energy to the rest of your days!

RULE TWO: IT WILL NOT BE OVERLY EXPENSIVE. You do not have to buy into some fancy gym membership or blow your grocery budget on the most expensive kinds of foods every week in order to lose weight, burn fat, gain muscle, and live a healthier lifestyle. It actually angers me how much society feeds us this garbage on how expensive it is to eat healthfully…thinking we just might as well go ahead and eat all of our meals through a fast food window. Eating clean can be inexpensive and easy; getting exercise doesn’t have to cost a thing more than wearing comfortable shoes if that’s all you can afford right now. Being healthy does not need to put a strain on your bank account!

RULE THREE: IT WILL BE MEASUREABLE. Be my friend on Endomondo (my favorite GPS tracking exercise log), and MyFitnessPal (an awesome nutrition tracker that gets the whole nutritional picture without only counting calories or fat, plus it synchs with Endomondo so also count my calorie burn!).

Also, watch HERE on for daily reports, measurements, weights, pictures, workouts, etc. I’ll post it all here for one-stop-shopping!

So, WHO’S WITH ME??? Join me and together let’s see how much your body can change in just one week!

Make it a great day,


On the 9th Day of New Year’s

On the 9th day of 2014 I spent much of the day waiting for another video to load (the Beauty Guru video, to be exact…), so this one didn’t get a turn until it was officially the 10th day of 2014. Thankfully, this is all for fun and no one takes this mighty countdown too serious so I know none of you who watch for this will hold it against me. I mean, let’s face it…if you’re going to hold something against me…it’ll be the singing! 🙂

Make it a great day & enjoy the video,



On the 1st Day of New Year’s

Benefits of Green Tea:

  1. It is loaded with polyphenols like flavonoids and catechins, which are powerful antioxidants
  2. Green tea contains less caffeine than coffee, but enough to improve brain function
  3. Green tea boosts metabolism
  4. Green tea has powerful antioxidants that may protect against cancer
  5. The bioactive compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on neurons and may reduce the risk of both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  6. The catechins in green tea can lower the risk of infections and lead to improvements in dental health, a lower risk of caries and reduced bad breath
  7. Green tea has been shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol
  8. Some studies show that green tea leads to increased weight loss
  9. Green tea apparently helps regulate glucose levels slowing the rise of blood sugar after eating
  10. Scientists think, green tea works on the lining of blood vessels, helping keep them stay relaxed and better able to withstand changes in blood pressure. It may also protect against the formation of clots, which are the primary cause of heart attacks
  11. Green tea is widely thought to kill cancer cells in general without damaging the healthy tissue around them
  12. Theanine is an amino acid naturally found in tea leaves. It is this substance that is thought to provide a relaxing and tranquilizing effect and be a great benefit to tea drinkers
  13. Green tea can apparently also help with wrinkles and the signs of aging; this is because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities

Make it a great day,


Online Resources:

The Tastiest, Healthiest, Most Energizing & Wonderful Smoothie EVER!

Smoothie 20131213.jpgThis is my personal, humble opinion, but I believe that this is the Tastiest, Healthiest, Most Energizing & Wonderful Smoothie Recipe EVER! But don’t just take my word for it…try it yourself!

Here’s what I used and why:

KALE: Kale is a high-protein green veggie with heavy doses of Vitamins A & C and anti-cancer goodness. It’s a great source of fiber so it nourishes and cleanses. It’s a great immune system booster and keeps our bodies healthy inside and out. This is my FAVE green veggie and is an all-around great superfood!

BLUEBERRIES: Blueberries are also great antioxidants, high in Vitamins A & C, as well as bioflavonoids. They boost our immune systems, power up our eyesight, and cleanse and protect our blood vessels. All these benefits and they also add great flavor to our smoothie! I prefer frozen blueberries because they are flash-frozen for that always fresh, always great flavor!

COCONUT OIL: Oh how I love Coconut Oil…let me count the ways! This good stuff aids in digestion and boosts metabolism. It helps your body fight diseases and the common cold. It’s an awesome product and adds some YUMMY coconutty flavor to our smoothie–it’s a win-win! If you want to know another way I love to use coconut oil, be sure and check out my vid about Oil Pulling:

BANANA: One question: Can you have a smoothie recipe without including banana? NOT ME!!! Bananas add great texture and sweetness, which help to counterbalance tangier flavors like the kale, while also packing our smoothie with fiber, energy boosting carbs, and potassium. Plus, who doesn’t have a bunch of bananas in their kitchen??? They’re just easy!

HONEY: Always purchase your honey from a locally produced source so that you can not only enjoy a fresher product and support your regional farmers, but you will have the added benefit of helping stave off allergies and sinus issues as the local honey contains the allergens which then work to train your body not to fight them. After all, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em…and enjoy freedom from regional allergy issues that can lead to so much more!

APPLE: Crisp and full of sweet flavor, apples are an excellent addition to any smoothie (if your blender can truly break them down and turn them into something other than crispy chunks in your smoothie). They are a great source of fiber, so they not only detox your body but also help keep your cholesterol down, aid in digestion, and help your body glow! Leave the skins on if your blender can handle them because that’s where most of the power-packing nutrients are; if your blender won’t cooperate, you can also pre-juice your apples and use the juice as a liquid base to your smoothie.

TOFU: I use soy products sparingly, but in the case of the perfect smoothie, a few dollups of soft tofu is a great way to add protein and additional smoothie texture.

ALMOND MILK: I used to love to make my own almond milk, but now I don’t have to: it’s readily available even on standard grocery store shelves and it’s a lot less expensive than making it myself. This good stuff adds my liquid to make my smoothie so rich and creamy, while also adding protein without dairy that clogs sinuses and creates mucus issues (bleh!). On top of the good reasons to use almond milk as the base for your smoothie, it also tastes great and has a nice, long shelf life, too!

Enjoy & Make it a great day,