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Quickly becoming some of my most treasured belongings are those that allow my 3.5-year old daughter to do things for herself. The kitchen is a place where I continuously ask myself, “How can I equip Emmy to be self-sufficient in this space?” There are so many appliances and utensils that I cannot allow her to use without my help or supervision at this age, but I am on the hunt for anything that will increase her independence! Mamas around the globe understand that more independence for their kids equals less work for mama!

My recent priority was to find a way for my daughter to help prepare her own lunches and help me prepare our family dinners. Unfortunately, using knives and chopping food is a huge part of the meal prep, and she is not coordinated...

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I have big news that I think you'll love!! The simple truth is:

Eating sweets every day is okay! Seriously, indulge that sweet tooth and give your body what it wants!

Ooookay, you know there's a caveat.

Obviously not all sweets are made alike. Some are naturally sweet, some are not, but our body doesn't discriminate when it comes to time to craving those delicious treats. Our body tends to crave sweets at specific times because our blood sugar dropped and it need a quick energy boost.

When this happens, our extremely intelligent body knows the absolute quickest way to spike it back up is to get some sugar. Unfortunately, what it doesn't know is that this little rush won't last long, and right after the blood sugar spike, there will be a crash, and you'll be...

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Imagine it is 3pm on a Saturday and you feel your body telling you it's getting hungry and wants a snack, so you head towards the kitchen to grab something to eat. Picture yourself looking at all of your options for what to eat.

Where are you? Are you standing in front of your fridge or your pantry?

Think about both of these food storage areas in your kitchen for a moment. Think about how different the foods are within them.

The average American pantry holds food items such as chips (tons of chips), sugary snacks, sodas, canned foods, cereal, pasta, microwave popcorn, and boxed meals (mac 'n cheese, ramen, etc).

The average American refrigerator is supposed to hold perishable food and preserve it to have a longer shelf-life; however, the American fridge is...

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Quieting your mind is absolutely key to keeping yourself balanced and sane. Every day we have thoughts and tasks that create chaos in our brains, thus making what many call the "monkey mind." Mingyur Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist Master who does a great job of explaining the monkey mind and how to calm it the heck down in this 1:47 min video.

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Many people are starting to shift their perspective about making New Year's Resolutions because they are noticing that when they make a resolution, they seem to do well with their intentions through (maybe) the end of February. Instead of resolutions, I want to encourage you to think about making concrete goals for yourself. Check out the meanings of each word...

  • Resolution definition = a position arrived at after consideration
  • Resolution synonym = intention, decision
  • Goal definition = the end toward which effort is directed
  • Goal synonym = purpose, objective

Goals are about the effort and end. Which I interpret to mean it's not only about obtaining that objective, but also about the journey or path you took to get there!...

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It’s time, y’all! It’s time to celebrate what we’ve accomplished and did well in 2016 and look ahead to what we will tackle in 2017!! The age old question this time of year is “So...what are your New Year’s Resolutions??” Everyone likes to talk about them, but in recent years, I’ve really started to hate the wording of that question. I can’t help but see the relationship between the word “resolution” and short-term motivation. People seem to go balls to the wall for a whole 3-4 weeks because they are committed to (insert resolution here - i.e., lose 15 lbs., stop eating processed sugar, work out 5 times a week, stop eating fast food), but the truth is, they get burnt out incredibly fast. We want quick fixes to our “problems,” so we come up with quick answers, and that’s not the way it...

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When you hear the word 'nourish,' I'm sure you think of food. We use that word in our prayers before meals and when referencing what food should do to our bodies. Hang with me while I attempt to expand your perspective on how you can really nourish yourself...mind, body, and spirit!

Sometimes we focus so much on food and how, if we do it well, it can nourish our bodies, but we forget the little ways that we can make ourselves feel refreshed and alive.

What does this look like? What does it mean to nourish myself outside the context of food?

  • Going on a walk/hike with your dog and noticing how rejuvenated you feel afterwards.
  • Simply lying on your bed after a long day, listening to a great song and smiling at how relaxing...
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Sleep. It's something we all want and crave more of, but we just aren't getting enough of it. Whether it's a racing mind, a crying newborn, last-minute project, work deadlines, or you're up laughing with friends, we are not getting enough sleep. Many of us tend to medicate with alcohol, melatonin supplements, Tylenol PM (when we're not sick), or lavender essential oil. Be aware, there are side effects with alcohol and Tylenol PM that can do more harm than good when used long-term or in larger quantities.

Now,...

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I go through waves of drinking 64 oz of water throughout the day (and peeing often) and going to bed thirsty, realizing I've probably only consumed about 24 ounces of water since I woke up. Honestly, I feel a massive difference in my body when I do or don't drink the right amount of water because it's the fluid that lubricates our systems and keeps us healthy and vibrant.

Picture a creek bed during a drought when it's all dried up and cracking. Just go ahead and compare your body to that creek bed because soon enough, without enough water to give you life, you'll start to crack and become uninhabitable. There, I said it.

First thing's first: Do you know how much water you are supposed to be drinking each day? Anywhere between 64 oz and the amount of half your body weight...

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My friends are incredibly important to me. As an extrovert, my friends have always been incredibly influential on my mood, my mission, and my heart. In fact, they are a huge reason that I was confident enough to stop teaching in order to pursue a career in health coaching. They pump me up and encourage me beyond belief, and that is often what spurs me on day after day!

Lucky for me, a few of these friends (and family) are just as passionate about healthy living as I am, which makes hanging out with them easy, fun, and really motivating!

One friend that I truly love and respect is Camille Moore. We met just after college, became fast friends, and have been walking through life together ever since. She started a popular lifestyle blog...

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By definition, a salad is simply a mixture or combination of smaller pieces of food that are usually served with a dressing. Most of the time, we picture salads with cold/raw ingredients, but sometimes it's cold enough outside, and you just want a light meal that's warm. Sometimes you just want a salad, but you want it to be warm!

That is precisely why a simple and delicious "winter salad" recipe is nice to have in your back pocket! When I asked my hubby whatflavors he thought would be good in a winter salad, he replied, "WINTER salad? Why is that a thing? Do we say Summer Salad? No... I think you should suggest putting a pumpkin pie on some spinach or a hot chocolate on kale." Why do I still ask him for feedback on this stuff? I don't know, maybe he's on to something?...

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Sometimes I feel like smoothies are God's gift to me as a mama. I make a smoothie at home at least 4 or 5 days a week for breakfast or lunch because it is fast, easy, and I can pack a ton of nutrient-dense ingredients in one place. These are all important factors when you're taking care of little people that don't give a crap about your schedule, sanity, or health. They just don't get it, but I can't fault them for that...yet. Gimme 8 or so years.

Another reason I am obsessed with the liquid nourishment is simply because it is easy to digest, and therefore, my body doesn't spend a ton of energy breaking down the food I'm ingesting. This translates to having more energy to run after and take care of my kids, house, husband, friends, work, and myself! If you play your cards right,...

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Is being "gluten-free" the new fad diet that will slowly disappear like the Atkins or South Beach Diets or is there really something to this? If you still don't know what gluten really is, read this.

Some people don't have a choice but to eat food without grains such as wheat, barley, or rye because the proteins found in these grains wreak havoc on their digestive system...and some people do have a choice. If you are one of the latter, it may not be a terrible idea to see what life is like without gluten. I eat from a strictly gluten-free menu, but it's because I learned a little too late that my gut was destroyed by eating foods that I thought were "healthy," and it...

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Whether it's because you're running from one kid's activity to another, you're on a road trip, or you have a busy life and no time for meal prep, getting good snacks that don't make you feel yucky afterwards are hard to come by.

Or are they??

I have a few "tricks" up my sleeve when it comes to needing on-the-go snacks that could possibly help you in a future pinch! Remember the goal is to prevent becoming starving, so you don't binge or turn to crappy food when you're starving, but it's also to make sure the snacks we DO eat aren't full of sugar or empty calories. Good nourishment creates good energy which creates a happy you!

Here are a few tips/snacks/ideas to have in your pocket!

1. Lara or Kind Bars - Keep a few of these in the console of...

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Time is always the issue, right? You're running out the door to get to work or take your kids to school, and you want to give yourself a high five for actually brushing your teeth and getting out on time, much less with a cup of coffee in hand. But ooh, wait...you're hungry. By the time you get to work or drop off the kids, you're turning into The Hulk, and nothing anyone says is right. It's not you, it's them. Everyone is stupid, inconsiderate, and needs to hurry the hell up. (Or maybe it IS you.)

When we get hungry and wait too long before we eat, we don't think clearly and we become less than a civil human being (most of us). The term "hangry" is a real struggle for people. I know you've seen kids falling apart while waiting for food at a restaurant, and I want to remind you...

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Mmm, pollen. It's that time, y'all. Allergies are Satan's spawn in many forms - itchy/runny nose, itchy/watery eyes, lethargy, inability to breathe, headaches, and sore throat. Basically, the feeling of death by pollen. Many people resort to sharing their horrible symptoms on social media this time of year in hopes that others will comment about how they can't breathe either because hey, misery loves company.

I don't have allergies right now, but don't worry, I'll have my time from January through March during Cedar Season. It's the "fifth season" in the Hill Country of Texas. It is brutal, and I promise the allergy medicine industry is banking because so many of us have the "maybe if I take two a day when it calls for one, then THAT will help" mentality. So. Much. Medicine....

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I am always looking for good smoothie ideas because that is my breakfast (and snack) preference. I love smoothies because they give me great energy, satisfy my hunger, don't leave me feeling heavy, and they are incredibly fast to whip up or take on the go! So naturally, when I find a good smoothie from a friend or a juice bar that speaks to my heart, I do a little dance and then I go home and attempt to make it myself.

This happened recently when I was at the HomeAway health fairs. I was there with a variety of other vendors who were sharing their products and services, one being Daily Juice Cafe which has locations...

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Your boss. Your family. Finances. Death of a loved one. Deadlines. Marriage struggles. Sickness. 1000 emails. Traffic.

Did it stress you out just reading some of those words or phrases?? Stress is inevitable, but it's also why you can't and won't lose weight. No matter how healthy you eat or how hard you work out, if you have a pretty stressful life, I can pretty much guarantee you won't lose weight. Your attempt at Paleo and a gym membership may not be the final answer. I know that's frustrating for many people who think they've finally found the perfect routine.

I want to break down in layman's terms why your body isn't absorbing that healthy food nor responding to those workouts, so you'll better understand how one simple change may help you achieve your health goals...

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I'm a mama, so naturally I spend a significant amount of time thinking about how to raise decent human beings who others would want to hang out with (now and when they're older). Parenting is not for the weak, and these kids are serious about making you earn a respectable name for yourself, even if they are the only ones who know that name.

As parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and caretakers, our goal should be simple: raise a child that is loved, confident, strong, happy, and healthy. This creates balance, and everyone needs balance. It's the single thing that will keep a person more productive and less stressed. In my opinion, that's what will also make someone successful, but there's this fine line we have to be aware of.

Most parents have experienced the fine line...

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"It's been quite some time since I felt this good."

"By the second day, the bloating and overall discomfort I was experiencing was relieved to a large extent...By day 5, I felt like I had more energy throughout the day and wasn't crashing at 3pm."

"The Reset taught us a lot about the right way to eat all the time."

The 7-Day Reset is a smaller "experience" that I offer clients. Honestly, although it is completely separate, it is a perfect complement to the 90-Day Total Transformational. Some clients have even asked to begin their 90-day program with The Reset because they know the energy and weight loss they will have after those 7 days will motivate and excite them to continue good...

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Let's just be honest with each other. You really don't have the time or energy to think about your actions. Maybe that's just me (and every other mama or stressed out, busy person out there), but thinking before we act is not our strong suit. I don't even really have time to have thoughts anymore, at least, not thoughts that I'm aware I'm actually having.

This, my friends, is why I have to trust that I'm creating and have healthy habits and lasting behaviors under my belt. I need them to just happen, to simply be a part of my everyday routine, and that way I know I won't disintegrate into a pile of hot mess by the end of the day (or if I'm lucky, the end of the week).

The third and final aspect of the 90-Day Program is all about creating habits that turn into behaviors...

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Just because someone tells you a food or behavior is healthy doesn't mean it's healthy for YOU or your body. We are all created and wired differently, to the very last fiber of our beings. So really, we are NOT all created equal. How's that for something to digest today?

The second aspect of the Total Transformation 90-Day Program is figuring out what to eat for your unique body type. This is my favorite part of the program, honestly, because it resonates with me so much! This was and is, by far, the most significant dimension of my health journey to date. When I cut out gluten, my body went through some major changes for the better. I became stronger, 25 pounds lighter, gained energy, and wasn't having digestion issues anymore. Hello, game-changer!!

I had always made a...

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Happy Wednesday! Today I want to reiterate how you should be able to live life to the fullest while sustaining a healthy lifestyle. You should be able to go out with friends, have a drink, and dance your face off! I'm bias, but I really think this is what life's all about (see pic above from the night before I got married)! Having a healthy and balanced life is 100% doable, you just need to know how.

I want to introduce you to the biggest aspect of my health coaching program: The Total Transformation. This 90-day program is a highly effective way to achieve your goals in creating a stronger, leaner body, a clearer mind, and instill a confidence in yourself that you haven't had in a long time. No matter where you are in your life, this experience could be beneficial for you...

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South Beach Diet. Atkins. The Master Cleanse. NutriSystem. Weight Watchers. Whole 30.

They all have something in common. They are all temporary.

Not a single one of these was meant to be a long-term fix for your health. I've never met anyone who has followed any of these diets for more than a week, a month, or maybe a couple of years. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you feel good while they're doing it (minus the Master Cleanse - don't do that to yourself). However, as soon as it's over, your "old ways" creep back in and at that point, you not only feel all your old symptoms coming back, you can add "defeated" and "frustrated" to the list next to headaches, gas/bloating, allergies, weight gain, low energy, and irritable.

When did diets become the...

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Hey there! I want you to meet my good friend, Fat. You may already know him, or maybe you've heard a lot about him. He hasn't had the best reputation in the past, but you should know he's just been terribly misunderstood. I feel like if you spent more time with him in the right setting, you'd love him. He's a badass with really solid intentions.

No one was intimidated by Fat before the 1970s when our government thought it was their job to analyze the relationship between diet and disease. After getting all the "facts," they came up with a pretty convincing plan that went something like this: "Fat makes us fat, so we need to make everything low-fat! This will be great because we can put fear in the minds of the people, then make billions with all these new products we'll put on...

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Just because you don't like the taste of vinegar doesn't mean you won't be able to drink this (or possibly even look forward to it)! I loved getting a text from my father-in-law one day saying, "It's weird, but I'm actually starting to like it." I also had one of my clients come to me randomly and ask, "Does the apple cider vinegar make your skin clearer?! Mine has cleared up since I started drinking this!" It's a type of "detox" for parts of your system, so...it does cleanse.

Now that I have you believing it's totally legit (right?!), I'll impress you with the many health benefits. *Disclaimer: some of this is scientific, and some may be mental (real talk), but nonetheless...it works. ;)

Benefit #1: It has been found to help prevent some of the digestion of starches in...

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It's so easy!! I knew I wanted to try to make my own sunscreen because there are some active ingredients in most sunscreens on the shelf today that I would like to avoid. Some of them mess with your estrogen levels, and y'all...I do NOT have time for that! No one has time for that, seriously.

I'd like to share this article with you if you're wondering what ingredients I'm referring to and why I don't need them in my life.

After looking at several recipes online, I finally settled on one from Wellness Mama, and I'm so glad I did! I appreciate...

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I've been asked several times why healthy living (whole food, gluten free, non-toxic) is so important to me. So much so, in fact, that I am dedicating part of my life to helping others realize how good they can feel if they make a few changes to their nutrition and lifestyle. There are several reasons, but ONE reason resonates louder than all the others for me.

Cancer.

I have a strong family history of cancer. My brother died of Leukemia at the age of twelve. Four out of my nine aunts (my mom is one of fourteen children) have had cancer. That's 40% of the women on that side of the family, in case you needed help with the math, and that is a strong percent.

Bottom line, it's there. I know it's there. By that, I mean I know I have cancer cells floating all throughout...

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