#wholefoodsreset is over.

February 15th I started a food challenge to “reset” my eating.  I intended to try for 21 days, but last Wednesday I had some hot cocoa (for comfort), and after that, I let myself slip more and more.  I made it 11 days, which is weird, because the 2 attempts at a 21 day sugar detox both ended at day 11.  Apparently my body NEEDS sugar after 11 days (yikes.)  I’m not disappointed in myself for quitting early, in fact, I’m proud of myself for realizing that it was causing me stress.   I listened to my mind and body as I grieve the loss of a friend, and practiced kindness toward myself.

I did learn a few things this time around….

1.  I love vegetables. I mean, I already knew that I did, but we really just dump any veggies we have into a pan and cook them. And they always taste delicious. Our grocery shopping and meals are more centered around vegetables and protein, and that was the whole purpose of doing this challenge.

2.  When I have meals centered around protein and vegetables, I stay full for hours, and definitely don’t feel as bloated or sluggish. I usually only need 2 full meals/day (with some snacks of course!).

IMG_63723.   I feel tired and sluggish when I eat sugar.  I have added sugar back in (I know I need to cut back again), and when I do have sugar I feel more tired and have even had to take more naps–some of this might be due to being emotionally exhausted/pregnant, but I don’t think the sugar helps.

4. I want to get better at controlling my stress eating.  I use food for comfort. I love ice cream and sweet things and when I’m stressed, I like to treat myself. I would like to find a better balance of “treats” during stressful times, because good food makes my body feel better, which would help with my stress.

5.  I got a few more recipe ideas from my friend Jamie and the other people I have been following on instagram, with the hashtags #wholefoodsreset  #whole30  I will probably continue to use the #wholefoodsreset hashtag to tag pics of delicious food that I eat so I have a place to be inspired when I get in a slump.


6.  Eating this way is pretty. I get what they say by “Eat the Rainbow.” Our groceries and meals have been SO colorful lately.

So while I only made it 11 days of a 21 day challenge, I’m proud of myself.


Update: #wholefoodsreset

Last Sunday I started the #wholefoodsreset to get back on track with my eating (sugar cravings were out of control).  Here are my thoughts on the first week…


I think whole foods are so pretty!

I have been posting pictures of my food on instagram and tagging #wholefoodsreset and have been amazed at the response I’ve gotten.  My ego tells me that no one wants to see what I’m eating, and that its annoying to post pics of your food, but I’ve gotten comments and inspiration from people by doing this.  My high school friend Jamie is joining me (follow her on instagram: @thekitchenarium) and visit her blog Jamie’s recipes!  She is inspiring me to branch out with my cooking and meal prep (she’s a great cook–at least her food looks amazing… I guess I’ve never tasted it before-ha!).   A few other friends and family have reached out saying they would like to do the something similar, but are needing some motivation to get started.  Just reaching these few people is incentive enough to keep posting annoying food pics. 🙂 It definitely holds me accountable knowing I’ve got people watching me.


The cooking part of the #wholefoodsreset has been easy for me. I’ve done a #whole30 a few times before.  This time around I’m being even less strict, which I think is my saving grace.

Food prep is key.  I made this delicious frittata on Sunday, and boom, a filling breakfast is served for the next couple days. I also shredded up carrots, and cut up broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage to make a coleslaw (without the dressing) and we used that all week in salads, stir frys, egg salad, and other concoctions.


So far, I am feeling better (maybe its all in my head, but does that matter?).  I have more energy and more motivation to do things around the house.

I still crave sweet in the afternoons (Friday afternoon was the worst), but I have just been reaching for a healthy snack, like an apple, kiwi, or grapefruit to fill this urge.  Eventually I would like to not have to have anything sweet, but for now, baby steps.

IMG_6321I’ve been more regular and stay full longer between meals.   I’ve had a few temptations: donuts, candy, hot tamales, but really I haven’t had a hard time saying no.  We are going out to eat tonight at Cancun (Mexican).  I have already decided I will skip the chips, and order the fajitas (and have a few beans and rice with it).

Its weird, but I almost think this #wholefoodsreset is easier to do while pregnant.  I have more incentive to choose healthier foods and I’m not drinking alcohol (a glass of wine or margarita was hard to resist during my other challenges).  I’m finishing up Day 6 of 21 ..already planning my meal prep for next week.  Preparation and planning are key.

Are you interested in doing a #wholefoodsreset or something similar?  Let me know if you need help getting started!

I also recommend the book It Starts with Food if you’re wanting to learn more about the #whole30 and eating more whole foods!


Yoga Teacher Training

I am currently in the middle of taking an online yoga teacher training course. It is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.  I chose to do an online course because I wanted to work at my own pace, which has proven to be a real challenge for me.  I signed up for the online training the first week in October, the same week I found out I was pregnant.  The entire first trimester I had no motivation to do anything, especially not work on yoga teacher training.  I did get through the first two texts during that time.  For the past 2 months, I have been working 2-3 days/week as an OT which has been taking up a lot of my free time, and limiting the time I have to spend on my coursework.  The papers and exam are hanging over my head and I know I just need to designate some time to just get them done.  I have until October 2015, however I fear that as soon as the nursery season starts up again, and then the baby comes, I will have very limited time to work on it. I’m excited to finish the course and need a kick in the pants to just get going on it.

Being certified to teach yoga will open up opportunities for me to expand my yoga practice and maybe even incorporate yoga into my OT. I have a few ideas or possibilities on how I could use this training:

1.  Market myself to businesses to do a yoga class for their employees (possibly Mercy?), especially businesses where employees are sitting at a desk all day or are in high stress environments.

2.  Yoga for kids.  I really enjoyed doing the pediatric yoga at the Autism center. I would love to do this again and would really love to do private yoga lessons for kids.

3.  Prenatal Yoga classes: I’m not sure how this would work, but maybe something through the hospital or clinics in town? I think having a class offered to pregnant women (maybe with daycare provided), would be a great service to add.

4.  Early morning yoga:  I am looking for an excuse to get my behind out of bed at least one day/week, and if I taught an early morning yoga class, I wouldn’t have a choice in the matter.

5.  Yoga at the nursery:  I would love to have a building here at Natural Plus to house yoga classes and workshops.  It would be so wonderful to have a yoga class here when the nursery is full of green and blooming plants and flowers.

I wrote this blog post to get me motivated about finishing my online teacher training course.  I do have to record a video of a couple classes that I teach, so those might wait until after baby, but I would really love to have all of my other course work completed and handed in before June. I better get to work!

Intentions for the New Year



Its going to be a great year, and I have a feeling its going to just sneak right on by, just like 2014 did.  I have some ideas of things I want to do in the new year, ways I want to improve, things to make my life simpler, and happier, and more fulfilled.

Here are a few I’m hoping to focus on this year:

1.  You choose your reaction, so choose to react positively.  I find that my initial reaction to a lot of things in my life is negative.  When my phone rings and its work, when someone says something I wasn’t expecting, when I open the mail, or sometimes even when I get a text message from a friend.  I want to change that initial negative reaction, and have a more open mind.  When work calls, it means there is work out there for me, and I am so fortunate that I have the opportunity to say yes or no to that work.  When someone says something I wasn’t expecting, a lot of times that can bring some positive experience into my life, or I can learn something new from that person.  When I open the mail, it could mean money coming in, not another bill. When I get a text from a friend, it could mean they are needing me, or maybe they are reaching out to me, because I need them (and don’t even know it).  Its so easy to look at the world through a negative lens, but whats the point.  I’m going to take the energy to change my negative lens to a positive one.  (Its a hard task, but I’m going to do my best).


2.  I want to be more giving.  This can be done in so many ways.  Sending an unexpected thank you or greeting card to someone.  Rubbing Dave’s back.  Opening the door for someone.  Smiling to people I meet or pass by.  It feels good to give.  And there are many easy ways to give to others without spending money.


3.  Be more intentional with my time.  I wish I could get up every morning an hour before I need to start getting ready and take that time to meditate, reflect, read, work out or stretch.  But I just can’t seem to do it…I really like to sleep in.  But I want to make sure I am spending time on those things everyday, and making that time a priority.  This will mean cutting back on tv and Facebook and other time wasters in my life.  I know this is going to be especially hard once the baby comes, but I know this is a huge priority and necessity for my sanity.


4.  Let go.  Be spontaneous. Give up some control.  So hard for me, but so necessary.  When I let others take care of something, or just let life happen, I am so much happier.  Its so hard for me to give up control, but I learned in the past year that life isn’t in my control. The only thing I can do is make good decisions and the rest is not up to me.  I do know that I am going to be forced to let go as our family transitions from 2 to 3 and our lives are flipped over and we have to figure out a new normal.

IMG_51685. Live simply.  I want to let go of material possessions.  I want to let go of the past.  I want to eat simply.  Exercise simply.  Work simply.  Have simple, pleasant relationships.


6.  Lastly, I want to show myself forgiveness and compassion. Stop being to hard on myself. Continue to grow and learn, but be ok with where I’m at right now.

Read about my 2014 intentions here.

And what I was loving and working on in 2013

How blogs changed my life.

Several years ago, via Facebook I started following Kelsey (a friend of my cousin’s) at Snappy Casual and her adventures with the 3o for 30 challenge. Wear only 30 items in your closet for 30 days.  I followed along with Kelsey and a lot of other bloggers for quite some time which lead me to lots of other blogs on the internet (this was before pinterest got HUGE).  Before that, I had only heard about blogs in passing, but had never really checked any out, or thought they could change my life.  Over time, though, blogs have changed my life in ways I never thought possible.

1.  Financial security:  I have followed along with Kelsey and her husband Eric on how they became debt free based on the concepts by Dave Ramsey.  It inspired me to do the same.  Two years later, I’m debt free and I know because of this when the opportunity arose to purchase my husband’s family business it was a no brainer.  We were financially set to take on that kind of responsibility.

2.  Healthy eating: I read What I Wore  daily, and a year and a half ago, she wrote about a Whole 30 challenge she did.   I purchased the book It Starts with Food and did my own Whole 30 challenge.  I now view food completely different and feel like I am able to make healthy choices without being fooled by food marketing and manufacturers (there’s a lot of junk in our food).

3.  Organization and purging stuff:  Such blogs as  IHeartOrganizing have inspired me to clean things in my house I never would have thought to clean. And doing the 30 x 30 remix by Kendi Everyday taught me I don’t need all those clothes in my closet.  Over time, I have decreased the amount of clothes I buy and have gone several months at a time without shopping.  I LOVE to swap clothes and accessories with my friends and sister…its a great way to get new stuff for free. And I’ve found without even trying I’ve inspired people in my life to life simply as well.

4.  Living Life with Intention:  I read Jess Lively’s blog and find her to be a huge inspiration.  She now has a podcast as well. What I have learned from her is to make each day count.  Each day, do something to make a small step to achieve what you want.  I felt so stuck in my full time job, and didn’t think it would be possible for me to do anything different.  But 3 years later, here I am working when I want, and diving into small business ownership with my best friend. Kinda crazy, but way cool.

Each of the women (and men) behind these blogs have touched my life in a way most will never know.  Because I have been touched and changed, I want to put myself out there, in hopes I can touch or change someone else’s life.

So, its doubtful that any of the above mentioned people will ever read this post, but I will just throw it out into the universe and say

IMG_4593Thank you.

And keep doing what you do.  Because its working.




My 2014 Intentions

Intentions for 2014


All of my intentions for the year 2014 are about being mindful. I want to be more present in the current moment,  being aware of my body and others.

  1. Be mindful of my mind.
  2. Be mindful of my body.
  3. Be mindful of how I spend my time.
  4. Be mindful of my relationships.



This one is very important to me. I have always loved to learn. I have a giant list of books I want to read and I would love to go back to school (for design? or organization?). I intend to spend a little time each day reading something, whether for leisure or learning.  I read a lot of blogs, but I will be more mindful of the blogs I read, to make sure they are expanding my mind.  I particularly like the blog Jesslively.com.  She lives a life with intention, and encourages others to do the same (she’s made a business out of it!).  She is very inspiring.

My mood and emotions are directly related to my thoughts going through my mind.  I will practice meditation (some call this prayer—to each his own). I will be more aware of my moods and feelings, and if I feel any negative, I will try to change those thoughts or feelings to positive.  I will seek to understand why I have these moods or feelings and work through them.  I want to be a genuinely happy, content person.

I will journal more.  It helps me process.  In a way this blog is my journal. Whether I write a blog post or a private journal entry, writing about stuff helps me sort through it. It always has, but I have not taken the time to do it in the past. Or I don’t do it because I feel silly.  Well, no longer. I’m going to put it out there to get it off my chest.



Body image is something I have struggled with for a while. I have written about my battle with this here. I do think it comes with being a woman. We are so hard on ourselves and we are our worst critic. For some reason, everybody else always looks cuter or prettier than I do in my eyes.  But I have to remind myself that most women think like this, and they are probably thinking the same about me. I will be more self confident, and I intend to instill this confidence in the women around me.

I have been eating a semi “paleo” diet and when I stick to it, it makes me feel better. I don’t want to have strict rules about what I can and cannot eat. I just want to make healthy choices and eat food that tastes good and fuels my body, allowing it to function the best it can.  I would like to decrease my sugar intake. I love sweets, and I eat sugar to the excess. I have been working on this and will continue to.

I love yoga.  I have written about how important it has been in my life here.  I will continue to do yoga.  It helps me with my mind-body connection.  I will listen to my body and give it the movement and exercise it needs.  No more running 6 miles or lifting heavy weights.  Weight training is important, but using body weight resistance is plenty.  I intend to practice more yoga, and take a time out several times a week for a walk (preferably outside).


This is a hard one for me. I am 100% extrovert and a people pleaser.  The more engagements  I have on my social calendar, the better, right?!? Not really. I intend to say, “No” to invitations or propositions that don’t seem to fit into my life or schedule, or that I just don’t have time for.  I will be more accepting of the fact that I don’t have time to do it all.  I have to choose the important things, and spend time doing those things to the best of my ability.  Which leads me to my last one,



I am married now. It hasn’t hit me really, but so far, I like it. I intend to be conscious of my marriage and invest in our relationship.  I will carve out time in our hectic, crazy lives to spend time just the 2 of us. We are always so much better off after a little alone time.

I feel like after 4 years here in Clear Lake, I have found a few girlfriends.  It took me that long. I miss my girlfriends from high school, college, and graduate school. They know me. And still like me. But I feel like the connections I am making now are getting deeper. And my friends here are getting to know me better, and I them. Its important to have friends that get you. I will cherish the connections I have made and plan to deepen them.

I will make time for my family.  I live in Clear Lake IA because my family lead me here. I love my family, they are the most important thing in my life.  As I grow older and learn about myself, I am understanding more and more how my family has shaped the person that I am. I intend to take time for my family relationships and spend quality time with those I love.

I have big intentions for the new year. Its going to be a good one.

Lake life

We are staying at Dave’s parent’s lake home until they are ready to move out of their farmhouse.  Some pics of our life right now.

A rainy lake view.


Our make shift curtain. Held up with fishing lures.

Image 17

Saturday morning coffee + lake view.

Image 18

Where are my feet?

Image 19

My temporary office.Image 20