Sharing My LOVE STORY In Hopes That It Will Inspire You

October 6, 2013: Hey, that sounds like a really cool career path in writing but way to go in considering a pursuit of your health admiration!!!

I had no idea that the conversation I had with this guy on October 6, 2013 would turn into something even bigger than I EVER knew.

But, you have to start somewhere.

I’m not going to sugar-coat it or lie to you when I say that it has been easy because it hasn’t. When I first met my husband, he was closed off. He had never had a girlfriend and he was an angry person who bottled up his feelings. And, I’m not going to say I was perfect either because I was very immature and didn’t know how to handle situations in a mature manner.

We grew close very quickly and soon, he began to open up and his anger slowly began to diminish.

As for me, I was scared of my feelings. He was the first guy who I truly cared about. Sure, I had other boyfriends, but this was different.

Our love story is different because after 15 months of dating, we moved to another state that was 12+ hours away in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. and we were tested in more ways than 1.

It was then that we needed to see if we’d last.

There were days I’d doubt our relationship and felt breaking up was our best option. I pondered it one day as I lay in our apartment. And, he knew I had doubts.

Conversation after conversation drew me closer to the breaking point.

And, I didn’t feel like I could talk to anyone about my doubts for fear of the person telling me what I already knew - we needed a break.

Gosh, I was terrified.

But, there was always something there. There was something telling me that he was the one for me and reminding me that I was never going to find a flawless man. I would always find something to complain about. I would always find something about the person that drove me nuts.

And, then, just like that, the doubts were gone.

Then, in November 2015, he popped the question. But then, a few months later, we were presented with another test - he lost his job and we had to move back home.

Devastated and still immature, I handled it terribly instead of appreciating the fact that we had the option to move back home.

As time progressed, the doubts resurfaced.

In fact, the doubts resurfaced a few months before we got married. This is the part that no one knows about because I never disclosed this information. I held it in, but finally talked to him about it.

Did I believe it was a red flag. Duh. But, I also know myself and thinking that THE PERFECT MAN is out there for me WITHOUT FLAWS was ridiculous.

All I knew was I HAD to talk to him about my feelings.

We both had tears in our eyes as I explained to him that I wasn’t sure if we should get married due to his flaws.

Here were the 2 questions: would I ever be able to accept them OR would I dwell on them for the rest of my life?

I cried because I had no idea what I was doing. I knew I was madly in love with him and that I had to decide what I wanted.

He stressed the fact that he accepted my flaws and would love me no matter what. We barely spoke the rest of the evening and the next day, we revisited the conversation.

This was when I realized that I couldn’t keep doing this to him. It wasn’t fair that I kept questioning him as a person when he was the guy who would do anything for me and I saw through his actions that he was dependable and would always do his best to protect me and handle situations in a mature manner. You never had to ask him twice to do something because after you explained that you needed him, he would be there in a heartbeat and I never found that in another guy. So, I just knew.

We got married in November 2016.

But, there were still plenty more tests to endure.

In March 2017, we moved again without a plan. No concrete job. Then, he started his own business and I found a job.

A year later, we found a house, but money was always something that was concerning. All at the same time our heater broke, the windows in our house suddenly stopped working, our dog chewed my prescription glasses, we owed thousands of dollars for our income tax, and the list went on.

BUT.

One thing has remained the same. Our love for one another. Though, I’ve strayed from him a few times due to my insecurities, his flaws and my immaturity, at the end of the day, I still loved him.

Every couple has had ups and downs and has had to put out money they weren’t prepared for, but it’s all about finding a way to make it work.

Maybe your love story is a bit more complicated, simpler or easy to tell, but ours is nothing shy of a world-wind.

Just remembering at the end of the day that you’ll get through it together is the most important thing.

My hope is that this will inspire you. If your guy has flaws, just remember that NO ONE IS PERFECT and you will never find a man with every single characteristic that you’re looking for!

Every story has a different ending. If you can handle the bad along with the good, then more than likely it’s meant to be. But, if there’s something telling you that you’re making a mistake, you may want to ask yourself if it’s worth moving forward and starting your life with this person.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

Does he make you feel warm & fuzzy?

Does he give you butterflies?

Does he make you feel good about yourself?

Does he tell you truth and not sugar-coat it?

Does he listen when you need him?

Does he lift you up when you’re feeling down?

Does he encourage you or support you no matter what?

Is he there when you need him the most?

Is my relationship with my husband perfect? Absolutely not! Do we argue? Yes. Do we bicker about stupid stuff? Yup! Don’t believe EVERYTHING you read and hear on social media because it’s not true! It’s a facade that people put on. No one ever tells you about the bad. They always want to talk about the good, but I want to remind you that there WILL BE bad. Not everything is picture-perfect.

Remember that having a happy and healthy relationship is extremely crucial for your well-being. If you feel like your relationship isn’t what you thought, let’s chat!

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

Healthy Living Tips

Being healthy is about more than just eating nutritious food. These tips will help you find balance, health, and happiness.

  • Be generous.

  • Be grateful for everything and everyone.

  • Focus on what’s good in your life.

  • Hum or sing a happy song every day.

  • Laugh often.

  • Treat yourself to things that you enjoy daily.

  • Keep your bedroom clean and organized.

  • Spend time outside.

  • Spend less time watching TV.

  • Chew your food well.

  • Say thank you.

  • Be positive.

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

Simple Ways To Optimize Your Life

If you’re searching for simple ways to optimize your life, look no further! Check out the ways to do just that.

EATING HABITS

Chew your food – when eating, make sure you taste your food. Can you name a time you remember really tasting what you ate or do you find yourself just stuffing your face at your desk without acknowledging the texture and flavor? Start taking the time to focus on every aspect and component of the foods that enter your mouth.

Make every meal pleasurable – at the start of every meal, make sure you get a whiff of it and take a good long hard look at it.

Listen to your body and notice how it reacts to certain foods – almost every magazine is talking about the benefits of smoothies, oatmeal and overnight oats, but the question is can your body handle those foods? Just because the media bombards us with the foods “we should be eating” doesn’t mean that your body agrees.

RELATIONSHIPS

Communicate with your significant other, family and friends – when it comes to relationships, it takes work to maintain them. So, make sure you’re communicating your feelings, emotions and talk out your issues with your loved ones. The worst thing is bottling up your emotions only to explode later on.

Get a promotion? Celebrate with family and friends! It’s always nice to celebrate the small triumphs that life brings us. And, why not do it with the people you love?

Write out what you’re grateful for – feel like you haven’t spelled out what your grateful for when it comes to your friendships? Take the time to write a list of things and send it to your friend. You never know when he or she may need this sort of thing!

ATTITUDE

Honor negative thoughts – though your initial reaction is to avoid anything negative, dealing with those thoughts will help you learn what to do when you start feeling the negativity.

Develop a sense of humor – if you take life too seriously, you may end up barreling into a downward spiral. So, laugh at yourself every once in a while!

Take time to spend outside – Vitamin D + the sunshine will instantly make you feel better. Make sure you get fresh air every chance you get!

Enjoy your life – dance, take a yoga class, blast the radio – whatever makes you feel better after a long-hard day! It will put you in a better mood.

HOME PRACTICES

Make sure your house is clean – when we have a clean house, we just feel our mood perk up! Remember a clean home is a happy home.

Minimize technology time – if you find yourself on your phone or watching TV more than the average person, you may want to step back and read, exercise or meditate instead.

Buy plants for your home – including plants in your home may just be the ticket to happiness!

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

Being Mindful

Most of us spend our entire lives living in the past or future.

We start thinking, “how could I have changed the scenario” instead of focusing on the present. We get lost thinking so many thoughts that we don’t concentrate on what’s happening NOW. And, I’m guilty of doing this because on my drive to work, all I can think about is how I think my day will pan out instead of focusing on the trees, plants, landmarks and the other cars surrounding me. I also get so lost into thinking what I need to do after work, what tasks I need to get done at work and what I’m having for dinner.

Here’s the thing: you can train your mind to start thinking in the moment. It won’t be easy because our mind often wanders., but it’s definitely feasible.

So, next time you’re eating, pay attention to the taste, how the texture feels, how it feels in your mouth and how much chewing it takes.

Next time you’re driving, pay attention to the cars, scenery and your overall surroundings.

Next time you’re washing your hands, pay attention to how your hands feel, the temperature of the water and how the soap feels in your hands.

Just learn how to be more mindful and stop trying to figure out what your next move is. We need to focus on our breathe and learn how to concentrate on what’s happening NOW.

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

What to Do when you’re missing family!

“Take my breathe away” came on the radio as we made our way to Wilmington, NC and all I remembered was watching a home video of a family party with this song playing in the background.

Ugh.

I won’t lie, the past few weeks have been hard ever since we went back to PA for my baby shower. I guess I’m finally realizing that the distance is becoming too much. I was annoyed that we had to drive so long two weeks ago when we left. I guess it’s probably pregnancy hormones because I’ve never felt like that before. Add that to the fact that I need to pee even more now, so we stopped more often, which delays our arrival time even more.

I guess I’m just sort of sad that my mom can’t come to any doctor appointments, see my pregnant body grow bigger and bigger. I mean, she’s just a phone call away, but it’s not the same thing as in-person. BUT, at the same time like I’ve said over and over again, the north is way too expensive and we could not have purchased a house like we have in the north. We would NEVER be able to afford it. Not to mention, I wasn’t getting any job opportunities in the north, so besides family, there was nothing left for me.

I try not to focus on the fact that family lives so far, but lately, it’s bothered me more than I thought it ever would. And, I know it has to do with pregnancy. I didn’t think I’d have my first child in another state and didn’t think I would be this far while being pregnant, but here we are!

If you’re in the same boat, just keep these aspects in mind:

  1. Technology makes it easier than ever to communicate. Skype, facetime, duo, phone, text, etc. Whichever one you use, it’s become WAY easier to talk to family and friends than before!

  2. Focus on why you moved in the first place. If you had to move due to work, just think of the job you landed! Would you have been able to land that same job in your hometown? If not, focus on that aspect!

  3. Make friends. By making friends, you won’t dwell so much on the fact that family is so far. So, don’t be afraid to reach out to people you’d like to hang with.

  4. Travel. If you’re in a state that has better travel opportunities, take advantage of it!

  5. Go to networking or meet-up groups. Find groups with people you have common interests with. This is an easy way to get to know people + networking may help you in the business world.

5 Ways To Feel Less Suffocated At Work

If you work at a desk job, most of your day is spent sitting there getting projects done, eating your breakfast, lunch and possibly dinner, chugging down coffee, possibly soda to keep you going. And, if you have a very important deadline, you never really get up from your desk to move your body.

By the time you get home, you’re so exhausted that you skip your yoga class and the downward spiral begins.

Either way, you might feel suffocated at work.

Most of your day is spent indoors and if you don’t have a window, you’re not getting ANY sunlight.

So, if your office feels a tad stuffy most days, this is what I suggest:

1) Take 15 minutes out of your day to walk. Go to a local park. Walk around your work’s parking lot. Do something to get the heck out of the office.

2) Meet a friend for lunch. Do you find yourself needing some time to re-group? Use your lunch break to meet a friend and either do lunch or just take a walk.

3) Drive around for 15 minutes. Don’t have anywhere to go? Why not drive around with the windows down and get some fresh air? t will do you some good to get the heck out of the office.

4) Come home for lunch. Live close to your house and need a breather? If you feel yourself needing alone time or needing time away from the office, why not spend your lunch break at home?

5) Grab a coffee or a smoothie. Do you feel like you’re in a slump and need some caffeine or a refreshing drink? Grab a cup of joe or a smoothie!

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

Have You Ever Been To A One Tree Hill Convention?

In high school, I heard of this show called One Tree Hill. After watching the first few episodes, I was hooked. I felt like every show told the same story, but this show was different. It had a different plot and there were twists and turns that you’d never expect on a teenage TV show. Well, at least, that’s what I thought about it.

I’d watch OTH to escape from life. Not to say my teenage years were bad, but as I watched Haley & Nathan fall in love, it gave me hope that I’d too someday find the same love. I hoped for a guy like Nathan (James Lafferty), who I thought was hot as hell. I hoped for a tall, dark & handsome man that would sweep me off my feet. I hoped for a guy as protective and strong as Nathan. I hoped that he’d take care of me and be my rock - like Nathan was for Haley.

Back in high school, whenever the show came on, my brother and I would gather in his room with a bowl full of popcorn to watch the latest episode. I always looked forward to those nights where I could get lost for a hour and dive into someone else’s life. Though, I hated when it ended because that meant I needed to go back to reality. That’s the thing about watching movies and TV shows. You’re so into the production that you forget about your surroundings and what’s happening in your life, but once it’s over, you’re left feeling sad.

I just remember those days where I’d binge watch an entire season because I had nothing better to do. Until a few years ago, I didn’t know where OTH was filmed. Once I heard it was filmed in Wilmington, NC, I knew one day I wanted to visit that town and scope out all the spots.

When we moved to Greenville, I knew Wilmington was definitely doable, so back in November, we went to Wilmington for the first time and really liked it! I checked out all the spots and heard about a OTH Convention, which took place 2 weeks before we visited!! I was super disappointed, but hoped that maybe I could go to their next one, which was in March.

And, so, this past weekend, we headed to Wilmington, NC to go to the OTH Convention!

I only bought general admission tickets, so I at least was in the same room with my biggest celebrity crush, James Lafferty. I watched as him, Stephen Coletti and Grubbs answered questions from audience members and was jealous that he was presented with this wonderful opportunity to be on a TV show for years, make life-long friendships and be a celebrity that most women drooled over.

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And, here’s the thing about celebrities: they’re just like you & me. They eat, sleep, poop & live their lives the same way in which we do. They just get paid more money and get a chance to be someone else in either a movie or TV show. They are not gods.

Am I a huge James Lafferty fan? Hell yeah, but I didn’t want to pay $65 just to talk to him for a nano-second. He won’t ever remember me. He saw so many fans this weekend that unfortunately he probably won’t remember. I’m not putting him or ANY other celebrity down, I’m just saying that they’re also human beings and that’s pretty much it.

All in all, it was a great weekend because I was able to see these actors that I grew up with via screen in real life. I got to see him talk, answer questions, laugh and be humble.

I’ll never forget the experience. I’ll always be able to say that I went to a One Tree Hill convention.

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Best Advice for Moms-to-be

In a few months, I’m going to be a first-time mother. Am I nervous? Yes, because I’ve heard so many mixed reviews from veteran moms and moms on what to expect.

Breastfeeding? It’s hard and your boobs leak, so if you want to re-think that, maybe you should stick to formula.

You’re never going to sleep again.

And, the list goes on and on. So, I made a post on my facebook page asking the best advice to provide news moms-to-be.

So, if you’re looking for advice, read the following:

  • You need all the baby blankets you can get! you will never have enough!

  • Tell everyone with advice that doesn’t include free food, coffee and them actually helping so you can shower/nap/etc to kindly shush.

  • Trust your mind and body instincts! And don’t EVER be afraid to ask for help or get help if needed! Your health is just as important as your baby’s health! 

  • Enjoy every moment the time will go fast. You will make mistakes its ok we are human. Take time for yourself.

  • Make noise! You don’t want a light sleeper! Also babies are like flowers. They need lots of sun, water, and fresh air to grow!

  • Don’t be afraid, the mommy instinct kicks in immediately 💗

  • Sleep now as much as you can.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to accept anyone you trust to help you.

  • Not everyone can or wants to breastfeed, which is totally fine (fed is best), but if you do... Breastfeeding is not intuitive and can be really challenging, even painful, at first. Feeding a baby is extremely time consuming in the early weeks (newborns eat every 2 hours and feedings can take 40 minutes leaving little time between feeds). It gets much easier and faster as the baby gets older. My 4 month old can eat in 7 minutes now vs 45 when he was 2 weeks old. Having a comfortable spot to feed the baby or pump with good back support really helps as does a supportive partner who can bring you snacks and drinks. :) I also highly recommend the Breastfeeding Center for any issues that may come up. My other advice is to take it easy and let people help you! Also, know that whatever issue comes your way, you can handle it. You were born to do this!!!

  • Sleep when baby sleeps — And KEGELS!

  • It’s easier to travel with an infant than it is a toddler so if you plan to do any do it when he or she is younger.  You will miss the days when your child was a baby. You may be sleep deprived but you’ll never get back the days when they are attached to you 24/7 so cherish those days and don’t wish them away.  Take more videos of your child then photos. You can show them what they were like when they were little and it’s the only way you can relive their childhood. And back up all your photos and videos on multiple platforms.  Trust your instincts. It’s often when we take advice from others when we fail as parents. You know your child better than anyone else, even the doctors(but don’t dismiss them altogether).  Have their handprints and footprints casted or printed with ink. They will never be that little again. 
    Don’t be too hard on yourself. You will make mistakes but you learn and you grow together! Lastly enjoy it because it it’s way too fast, and it’s not just a saying. It’s legitimately true but you have to live through it to see. Trust us!

  • Don't let anyone's naysaying and horror stories make you fearful of becoming a mother! Everyone told me I wouldn't be able to shower again, warned me about colic and told me I would never sleep again. I've showered everyday since my daughters birth and she was sleeping through the night at 7 weeks and she's exclusively breastfed and I'm a single mother with no spousal help! I wasted a lot of time being anxious and scared for nothing!

  • Have a schedule!!!! Will save your life.

  • Get a doula 😉 Go to breastfeeding support groups early on - they are game-changers. Bonding doesn't always happen immediately. Stay in God's Word...even I'd you have to change up the time you read/how you read.

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

Listening to Your Body & Deconstructing Your Cravings

When I was in college, I started restricting myself from eating certain foods such as donuts, bagels, pastries and anything else I considered “bad food.” At work when someone brought in donuts, I would take a cold, hard look at them and want one so badly, but deny myself the pleasure.

I would say I’m pretty good at controlling myself when it comes to food.

But, some people are not. For instance, if you restrict yourself from eating specific foods, more than likely, you’ll end up binge eating, which is worse than just eating the darn donut in the first place.

It wasn’t until I started attending IIN that I found denying myself was actually hurting more than helping, so I started LISTENING to my body. Was I in the mood for a sweet treat? If so, I would have something small. I never felt like I needed to eat a whole carton of say ice cream because I began tuning into my cravings.

Is it easy to listen to your body?

Hell no.

But, once you train yourself to tune into what your body WANTS, you’ll more than likely not feel the desire to eat an entire chocolate cake.

Do you know why you crave certain foods? This is why:

  1. Lack of Primary Food. Being dissatisfied with a relationship, having an inappropriate exercise routine (too much, too little, or the wrong kind), being bored, stressed, or uninspired by a job, or lacking a spiritual practice can all cause emotional eating. Many people try to cope with uncomfortable emotions or difficult situations by seeking balance through food. Food can provide a form of relief, or even an escape, when you’re under stress. In this way, food is being used as a strategy to fulfill areas of primary food that aren’t being satisfied.

  2. Water. Staying hydrated is a great way to help reduce extreme cravings and may ultimately help regulate the amount eaten to match needs more closely. A glass of water before eating has actually been shown to reduce the amount of food consumed during a meal. Another factor to consider is that your hydration status affects your body’s electrolyte balance. When you sweat and lose water, you also lose electrolytes, like sodium. This may lead you to seek out sodium-rich foods following an intense workout.

  3. Lack of Nutrients. If the body has inadequate nutrients, it might produce odd cravings. An extreme example of this is a disorder called pica, which leads to extreme cravings of nonfood items, like clay. This condition may arise due to a chronic iron deficiency.

  4. Seasonal. The body often craves foods in accordance with the season. In the spring, people crave lighter foods, like leafy greens or citrus fruits. In the summer, people crave cooling foods, like raw foods and ice cream. In the fall, people tend to crave grounding foods, like squash, onions, and nuts, and many crave heat-producing foods, like meat, oil, and fat, in the winter. Cravings can also be associated with seasonal holidays. For example, turkey, eggnog, or Christmas cookies.

  5. Inside Coming Out. Cravings often come from foods you’ve recently eaten or foods from your childhood. Recently eaten foods tend to be fresh in your mind, so you’re more likely to crave that food in an attempt to re-create a positive eating experience. Similarly, when you crave foods from your childhood, you may really be seeking the feeling of comfort those foods may have provided when you were younger.

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

It's Been Two Years Since We Moved To Greenville And My Experience Has Been...

In 2015, we visited Greenville for an engagement shoot.

At the time, we were living in Tennessee and my now-husband had just lost his job, so we made the decision to move back to Pennsylvania.

It was a difficult time for both of us because we had been living on our own for about a year and I loved the freedom of having my own place. Did I miss my family? Hell yeah, but it was a choice we made.

So, two weeks after doing the shoot, we moved back to PA.

A few months later, we decided to move to Greenville permanently. Was I afraid the same thing would happen as Tennessee? Yes, but it was a risk I knew I had to take.

Around the time we moved here, my grandma passed away, so that made it 10 times harder because I knew it was a horrible time to leave my family. But, I had to go.

Gosh, these two years had been emotionally draining.

My husband started his own business, which took a while to gain traction. It only took me about a month to obtain a job, but still, we were not used to our surroundings and we only had 2 friends here. It was hard starting over again and not to mention, the people in the south are so much different than the north, so we had to get used to the personalities.

But, we made it.

Together, we worked as a team and adopted a dog, moved to a nicer apartment, then bought a house, found out I was pregnant and I started attended IIN to become a holistic health coach. No, these events didn’t happen all in the same year.

So, it’s safe to say that these past few years have had its ups and downs.

In terms of the emotional aspect, there are days I miss my family so much it hurts, but then I remind myself that we would NOT be living comfortably in the north. It’s too damn expensive to live here and I wasn’t getting ANY job opportunities.

In order to learn, you must go through rough patches! It will only make you a stronger person. And, people ask me all the time how I cope with not seeing my family. What do I say? I don’t think about it. If I do, I’ll become a blabbering mess and you won’t want to pick up the pieces, trust me.

I’ve learned so much about myself, my husband and our abilities to take situations in stride. I mean, this year has started off really rough with having to fork out SO MUCH money for our taxes, then having the washer break, the heater, and my dog eating my prescription glasses. So, it’s safe to say we’ve put out way more money than we anticipated, BUT…. I remind myself to focus on the positive aspects of my life. It could be so much worse.

I mean, compared to other women (knock on wood), my pregnancy has been a breeze. I often feel nauseous, exhausted, heartburn, but nothing too extreme, so I’m lucky.

What have I learned living here?

I’ve learned that there’s a little creative community that is willing to help. All you have to do is reach out!

My husband and I can get through anything.

Stay positive even when negative things are heading my way.

It gets better.

Believe in myself and my abilities.

Believe that I WILL obtain clients for my business.

Thanks GVL for the memories so far! I can’t wait to create more. ✌️


If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

The Woman's Guide to Self-Care

When it comes to self-care, as women, we rarely set aside time for ourselves. Instead, we’re left running around either picking up the kids, running home to make dinner, trying to get a good night’s sleep and not letting ourselves relax. I mean, what’s relaxation?

But, it’s time we start caring for ourselves more because at the end of the day, we are the glue who holds our household together.

If you’re thinking to yourself, okay, I simply don’t take time to care for myself because I’m way too busy! Or, I’m on a tight budget and don’t have money to spend treating myself. Well, that is where I call bullshit because some of my self-care suggestions won’t cost you anything.

In terms of having no time, if you’re a single mom, why not ask a friend to watch your kids for a few hours while you de-stress? Or, ask your partner to watch the kids? There are ways you can start putting yourself first, but you might not think it’s important enough, so you keep putting it on the back-burner saying, “I’ll get to it.”

Well, I’m sending you a reminder to care for yourself now before you make yourself ill.

And, here are a few ways to do just that!

1) Take a bath. Take 30 minutes out, lock the door and sit in a hot bath with a glass of wine and a candle. Feel free to read your favorite book and just relax. This will do you some good after a long day or long week!

2) Meditate. Some people might be opposed to this, but I’d encourage you to try it for just 10 minutes a few times a week. Trust me, you’ll feel relaxed afterward and want to continue the practice. You can find soothing 10-minute meditation videos on youtube.

3) Schedule a massage or facial. Okay, this costs money, but if you only splurge on treating yourself once in a while, it won’t break the bank. Or, you could save money and do an at-home massage with your significant other and then an at-home facial.

4) Plan a relaxing date night or girls night. at HOME Make pizza or your favorite dish and watch a movie with a glass of wine. Whether you’re spending time with your significant other or your best girlfriends, this will be a night that’s severely needed.

5) Go out to dinner. Have a couple extra bucks leftover after your budgeting session? Why not go out for an inexpensive dinner with your girls or significant other. After a long day at the office or taking care of your kids, you need a night like this to re-charge. Remember: during dinner, NO CELL PHONES. You need to un-plug from life and this is the perfect time to do so!

6) Plan an inexpensive weekend getaway. Again, this doesn’t have to cost a ton if you budget it correctly. If you’re going with friends, you can split the cost of the room and dinner. It can be somewhere local that you haven’t visited yet. I’d suggest googling surrounding areas and then look up restaurants, activities and inexpensive hotels or airbnb’s.

7) Cook or bake. If you’re relaxation session includes baking or cooking, I say spend a few hours in your kitchen on a Sunday afternoon. Have you been wanting to learn how to bake something out of your comfort zone in order to challenge yourself? If so, now is the time!

8) Read. Want to catch up on reading? Set aside time to read for a few hours. Not only will it take you to another world, you’ll feel more relaxed afterward because you’ll feel like you got ME time.

9) Go for a walk or hike. Gosh, the fresh air always makes me feel better after being coped up in the office all week. Take a few sammies and head to the park. It’s free and you can some Vitamin D!

10) Do nothing. Yes, you heard that right. Lay on the couch and binge watch your favorite show. We deserve to be lazy once in a while! Since most of our lives are spent go, go, go, it’s hard for us to just stop and do nothing, but trust me, after a few hours of that, you’ll feel good!

I know some of these suggestions are obvious, but we could all just a reminder once a while because our society is constantly moving. We start thinking if we’re not being productive 24/7, we’re just plain lazy. Okay, that is NOT the case because we’re allowed to lounge around.

Most of us have high-stress jobs that make us sick, tired all the time and with NO TIME to do the things we used to do. We need to stop and ask ourselves if we’re run down and if we feel like we are, we need to make it a priority to just SLOW DOWN!


Need an accountability coach? Schedule a FREE health consultation and we’ll chat about your health goals.

Dear Future Daughter

Dear Future Daughter:

I'm writing to you before I find out if I can have children, before I'm engaged, and before I'm ready to have children. There's so much I want you to know about this world, your daddy and what kind of man we want you to be with. I could be jumping the gun a little bit here with your daddy, but he's told me asking my hand in marriage is just a few months away. And, I'm not planning or wishing for it to come true. Instead, I'm taking it day-by-day and enjoying my time with him.

I'm going to tell you something about your daddy. He's a special guy who will do anything and everything for his little girl. He'll always protect you and love you like he loves his mommy. Your daddy will take spending time with you very seriously because he'll love you to pieces and want to make memories.

Once the time comes, he'll teach you that there are good men in this world and will be honest with you about the men who just want to sleep with you. He'll want to know who is spending time with his little girl. And, I know for a fact if this man breaks your heart, your daddy will beat the crap out of him. He'll feel devastated to see his little girl hurting and so, he'll do everything in his power to cheer you up.

I know what kind of guy he is and what kind of father he'll be because we have a dog--whom you'll grow to love--who he plays, cuddles and takes on long walks. He cherishes the moments he spends with our pooch just like he'll do with you.

He was raised to be respectful and courteous to women and that's why I love him so much. He goes out of his way to do things for me and even puts me first. You will witness these acts of kindness by your daddy when you're old enough to understand. You will learn who a good man is by watching your daddy love and care for me when I'm in pain. You'll watch your daddy be my rock, my shoulder to cry on, my co-pilot and my partner for life.

Even though he's a rather anti-social person and avoids chaotic situations, he'll never pass up an opportunity to go somewhere with you or our family.

Society can be mean sometimes. I'm so sorry if you're bullied in school. Daddy and I will teach you how to be a strong woman who doesn't care what other people think of you. We'll teach you to have a thick skin and defend yourself when people are cruel and rude to you. You will le

10 Tips To Drop Pounds

Time and time again, people go on diets because they want to lose weight. But, reality is, diets don’t work. All diets do is make you binge eat later on, so stop restricting yourself and just eat food in moderation.

You can lose weight without dieting and this is how:

1. CHEW YOUR FOOD WELL. Digestion begins in the mouth. By thoroughly chewing your food, your body will better assimilate nutrients, and you will also slow down your eating. It takes about twenty minutes for your brain to get the message from your stomach that it’s full. By slowing down, you’ll feel full and satisfied on less food. Aim to chew each bite thirty times.

2. EAT REAL FOOD. Avoid products with high-fructose corn syrup and/or a long list of hard-to-pronounce ingredients. These items are highly processed, lack the nutrients your body needs, and are often loaded with empty calories

3. EAT MINDFULLY. Turn off the television, computer, and other devices. Make your food look beautiful and light a candle. Sit down and savor the food you’re eating with no distractions.

4. DRINK WATER. Most people are chronically dehydrated. We often mistake thirst for hunger. If you feel hungry between meals, drink one or two large glasses of water, then check in and see if you’re genuinely hungry .

5. REMOVE LIQUID CALORIES. Sodas, sweetened coffees and teas, and even pure fruit juices pack a lot of sugar. One of the easiest ways to release weight is to eliminate all sweetened beverages. Try blood-sugar-balancing vegetable juices, water, and pure tea and coffee in moderation.

6. EAT A PLANT-BASED DIET. Plant foods are typically lower in fat and calories and higher in filling fiber than meat, dairy, and processed foods. They provide essential nutrients and minerals that support weight loss.

7. EAT BREAKFAST. Having breakfast sets the tone for your whole day and gets your metabolism buzzing first thing. Skipping breakfast causes your blood sugar levels to dip, affecting your energy, moods, and cravings. Your body naturally needs less food as the day progresses and you get closer to bedtime.

8. ADD SWEET VEGETABLES TO YOUR DIET. Sweet vegetables, such as carrots, onions, squash, and sweet potatoes, naturally satisfy sugar cravings and soothe the nervous and digestive systems.

9. START JUICING. Pairing fresh vegetable juices with a light, plant-based diet is a great way to gently cleanse the body and jump-start weight loss. Try having a low-sugar green juice every day for thirty days and notice the difference in your energy and weight.

10. IDENTIFY ALLERGIES. One of the most common weight loss roadblocks is unidentified allergies. Get tested for common allergies like gluten, soy, and dairy, or simply do an elimination diet – eliminate all three for thirty days, then reintroduce them one at a time, a few days apart, and take note of any reactions. When you remove allergens, weight is naturally released.

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

Unhealthy vs Healthy Carbs

When it came to carbs, I used to be obsessed with only eating carbs for one meal a day. Typically, my lunch would consist of a bagel with peanut butter, salty and sweet snack. But, then later on, I might indulge in a bag of chips. It was mostly empty calories that would fill me up for a bit and then, I’d just end up getting hungry a few hours later because it never held me over.

I would often write down exactly what I’d eat just to avoid carb overload.

All I heard was CARBS MAKE YOU FAT! And, I listened because here I was trying to stick to one meal of carbs a day, which by the way the bagel was processed with added sugar, but I really wasn’t paying attention. I wasn’t researching healthy vs unhealthy carbs.

So, when I started going to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I learned the difference between the two. You know you hear so many different perspectives about nutrition when it comes to the media, magazines and society. First we hear carbs are the enemy and then all of a sudden, we hear, oh actually carbs make you lose weight, which is what everyone wants to hear.

But, honestly, it’s based on the individual and not every single person gains weight from carbs, not to mention, there is a difference between unhealthy and healthy carbs.

HEALTHY CARBS include:
✔️ Whole grain bread
✔️ brown rice
✔️ quinoa
✔️ oatmeal
✔️ beans
✔️ sweet potato

UNHEALTHY CARBS include:

✔️processed pastries
✔️cookies
✔️white bread
✔️potato chips
✔️white rice
✔️ candy
✔️ sugary cereal

I mean, it’s not going to kill you if you consume a donut once a while. My tip is NOT to deprive yourself because you’ll end up binging later on, which will be worse than actually eating it in the first place. Just know that carbs give you energy, You NEED carbs to keep you going and you shouldn’t be afraid of them. You need them in order to feel full. So, next time you start thinking, “maybe I shouldn’t eat this, remember this article!” Refer to it whenever you need to. And, as always, I’m here if you need me!

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

How to Start Your Week on the Right Foot

Sunday nights.

They’re rough on all of us. The next day is Monday and so the circle of dread begins. I get it because I’m with you. The weekend is filled with laughter, fun & you can stay up late! But, on week days, you need to be responsible & go to bed at a reasonable hour in order to feel your best!

But, I’m here to tell you that Sunday night doesn’t have to be filled with dread. You can change your attitude and I’ll tell you how by focusing on the good things happening during the week.

1) Meal prep on Sunday. This will start your week on the right foot because you’re less likely to reach for processed foods. Bring foods you’ll look forward to eating!

2) Set your clothes out the night before. Want to catch some extra Zzz’s? Make sure you pick out your clothes the night before to avoid being late the next day & maybe you’ll get to sleep in for a few the next day.

3) Meditate on Monday morning. Before going to work on Monday morning, take 30 minutes out to meditate and cleanse your mind before heading into work.

4) Make plans after work. Get together with friends after work, so you have something to look forward to. Grab a coffee or a glass of wine & relax with your best gal pals.

5) Schedule a date night. Book a reservation at your favorite restaurant & surprise your significant other with a date night!

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

Last Minute Valentine's Day Dates - On a Budget

It’s Valentine’s Day and you still don’t have plans.

DON’T PANIC! I’ve got you covered.

Even though you might be on a budget and not looking to spend a ton of money on your significant other because well, there are always bills to pay, there are a few ways you can still make Valentine’s Day happen!

1) Picnic at the park. Okay, okay, I get it, the weather isn’t that nice for a picnic, but the fresh air will do you some good. Just pack a few sammies, chips, fruit salad and head to the park! It’s a cheap afternoon date that won’t break the bank.

2) Go out for dessert. You can have a nice sit-down dinner at home and then go out for dessert. Why not try Carol’s for ice cream? Or, if you’re in the mood for cake, Chocolate Moose, Nose Dive, or even a milkshake at Grill Marks are all good option!

3) Stay in and make dinner. Polish off a bottle of wine with a homemade dinner with your significant other. Nothing says romance quite like bonding over creating a dish together. Spaghetti & meatballs, anyone? And, if you don’t want to spend money on dinner, just make it or buy it yourself!

4) Go out for coffee. Grab a cup of joe at Coffee Underground, Spill the Beans, or any other coffee joint in the Upstate!

5) At home spa. Why pay for a spa when you can have one at home? Pamper you and your significant other by giving massages, relaxing with a bath and a glass of wine. After that, watch a movie. Ah, what a perfect night!

So, if you’re in a crunch, choose any of these budget=friendly Valentine’s Day date ideas! Let me know if you pick one! Happy Valentine’s Day!

You Live & You Learn. Here's What Happened To Me.....

“You owe a couple thousand dollars for taxes,” said our accountant. I sat there in AWE. It was shocked beyond disbelief.

My husband & I had never owed money. I mean, he had a hunch that we would need to pay money, but I had no idea.

On top of that, we just learned that something is wrong with the circuit board on the outside unit of our HVAC system, so that’s going to cost us some money. Right now we’re not really running the heat in order to save money. Our last two bills for our electric were a couple hundred dollars, vs $80, which is what we were paying at our apartment.

Not to mention, I found out today that my dog chewed my prescription glasses, so that’s another expense we never took into account. Oh, and, we’re spending a couple thousand every month just to LIVE. It’s disgusting & absolutely frustrating.

So, I went into the garage, went on the elliptical & cried.

I cried because I feel like everything is crashing down. I feel like we just can’t catch a break no matter what we do in life. Every time we want to save money, it always bites us in the ass. Every time we think we’re about to get ahead in life, we get a set-back. I know, I know, that’s life and there are SO MANY worse things that could have happened. I know that I need to appreciate what I have, but why can’t I be frustrated? Do I have to be happy ALL THE TIME?

But, this is it: in life, there’s always a lesson to be learned.

You should put away money for taxes.

You should have an emergency account.

You shouldn’t leave your glasses where your dog can reach.

You need to spend less money on groceries.

For me, those are just some things that come to mind. But, it’s not that simple for some people. Some people are struggling & trying to stay above water while the waves continue to crash down. And, I know that. I remind myself that every time something bad happens.

I start focusing on the positives.

Do I have a nice house? Heck yeah.

Do I deserve it? Heck yeah! My husband & I worked hard for this house & it’s about time we got SOMETHING that we wanted. We’ve been through so much shit and we’re just getting started.

But, you live & you learn. So, let me ask you: what lessons in life have you learned?

So..... I'm Pregnant?

“I’m really late,” I told my husband, Brett while we were on a trip in Wilmington, NC.

I was supposed to get my period at the end of October and I kept waiting for it. The previous months it came around the end of the month and I felt as if it would come, so I was prepared, but it didn’t.

“But, you’ve been late before,” Brett said. “Yeah, but, not this late.” He smiled. He looked at me and just stared. We’d been trying since May or June, but it just wasn’t the right time. I kept telling myself it would happen, but maybe the timing just isn’t right. I mean, in August, I started a new career and will earn my certification in April. I took it as a sign that we weren’t ready.

But, I have to admit by the end of October, I was frustrated.

I began thinking, “maybe we can’t get pregnant” and then “what the hell is wrong with me?” If I hadn’t been late in October, I was going to start doing research and scheduling a doctor appointment to find out if I was able to get pregnant or not because it seemed like it was taking a long time.

I told my husband on November 3rd, 3 days before our anniversary. Why did I tell him? Because I was REALLY tired and in case I was pregnant, I didn’t want to push it too much. But, he was excited at the thought. I, on the other hand, was scared shitless.

The next day I took a pregnancy test.

I didn’t want to take it though. I was really, really nervous and my heart was beating a mile a minute. He kept asking if I took it or not and I was stalling.

But, then, around 5:30 on Nov 4th, I took it.

I waited 15 minutes before the test confirmed that I was in fact… PREGNANT.

Maybe it’s wrong, I thought to myself. Pregnancy tests aren’t always right.

I walked down the stairs and showed my husband. He looked at me and smiled.

What was the first thing I did?

Cry.

I cried because I live in South Carolina and my mom lives in Pennsylvania and she won’t be here during my first pregnancy. I cried because I didn’t know what I was doing and I was scared out of my mind. All this time I so badly wanted to get pregnant, but here I was terrified.

My husband hugged me tight because he saw I was getting emotional, which by the way NEVER happens. And, I HATE crying because I don’t like to display emotion. Does that make sense? Probably not.

Anyway, after crying for what felt like 10 minutes straight, I stopped.

I told myself I had to be a big girl and deal with the fact that my mom lives in PA. She is always a phone call away. And, there are plenty more people who have moved here while their parents live somewhere else, so I’m not the only one.

In the end, I’m happy, but I’m also pretty nervous.

Want to know my story?

“We’re not going to conduct an allergy test because it wouldn’t make sense after hearing your symptoms,” said the doctor.

Okay.

Again, another dead end. I was back where I started and felt rather frustrated.

Over the last 6 years, I’ve gone to a total of 7 gastroenterologists. The issue I was having stemmed back to high school. I would eat a dairy product and feel my stomach start to gurgle and then gas would rear its ugly head and I couldn’t let it out because I was in school and felt embarrassed, so there I was spending the whole day keeping it in until I was able to release it. By the time, I let loose, my stomach had already felt like shit and I just didn’t get it.

I tried to avoid dairy, but then it started happening when I ate random food such as pasta sauce, pasta, sandwiches, etc.

In college, it got worse and that’s around the time I told my mother, who took me to a gastro. I’d describe my issues, they’d ask me a few questions, give me a pill and I went on my way. Did those pills work? Hell no!

So, I went to another one and they recommended a cat-scan and an ultrasound and found that I had an ovarian cyst, which they removed. “We’re hoping that that’s the issue,” said my doctor. So was I!

But, unfortunately, it wasn’t. I continued to suffer. I dealt with it for years and then went to see someone else, who gave me another dose of pills. OH, yay!

In 2015, I moved to Tennessee and went to see another gastro, who suggested I eliminate red meat from my diet. And, she was the ONLY doctor who suggested food being the healer, not medicine. A few months later, I went to another gastro, who asked me if I’ve ever had a colonoscopy. Nope! But, I was willing to try it.

They found NOTHING!

It was as if I was a rare medical case because NO ONE could figure out what I had. Someone suggested possibly a slight case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but she wasn’t sure.

When I went on a cruise for my honeymoon, I saw a nutritionist, who put me on an elimination diet. To my surprise, it helped a little bit. He explained that I had many toxins and chemicals in my body and told me to stick to these certain foods to see if my symptoms disappeared. They didn’t totally, but my stomach felt so much better!

In 2018, I started IIN and learned so much about elimination diets and how food IS medicine. Looking back had I known that I should have changed my diet instead of listening to the doctor, I might have gotten rid of my stomach problems. BUT, you live and you learn.

Have a similar experience? Let’s chat: adashofhopee@gmail.com!

Would you ever consider going on an elimination diet?

I Finally Found My Happiness

I’ve always wanted to help people, but wasn’t sure in what compacity.

In college, I felt drawn to the magazine industry and yearned to live in NYC to become a magazine writer. I did intern for Good Housekeeping and Family Circle Magazine, but changed my mind due to the competitiveness.

Instead, I went straight into content writing then became a social media coordinator, and finally a community manager. But, there was always something missing.

When it came to my career, I never felt settled.

I always felt the sense that I was meant for something greater. I always felt like there was something else out there for me. I would suggest a new career every week, but never followed through because it wasn’t meant to be. That was until I moved to Greenville a year ago and came across holistic health coaching.

Something clicked in my mind. The excitement started creeping up and that’s when I knew I finally found it. I’ve spent most of my 20’s confused as to what career I wanted. I’d start a job, love it and then all of a sudden, something would happen. And, in my heart, I knew it was a sign. I kept on looking and wondering when it would finally hit me.

So, now, after years of exploring career options, I’m becoming a holistic health coach and my goal is to help people – whether it be men or women – become their best selves. I want to see the smile on their face when they finally find their happiness. The joy I’ll feel will be overwhelming and for the first time in my life, I know I’ll be making a difference.

Via Hannah Kerr’s Little Pink Book