Archives for January 2016


if life gives you lemons dyslexicHI HI!!
Hello there! Here we are 3 weeks into the new year, we have started accomplishing our goals and working toward our intentions we set for ourselves just a short 26 days ago… ya?! Or maybe we are stuck in a rut, blaming ourselves for being lazy failures and choosing the couch over a treadmill or what not and so forth and so on.

Forget it. Today is a new day, we start TODAY.

I ate dairy yesterday. I blame the cardinals for my binge, but I had a couple of bites of bri cheese. Just a little bit. My head became a hot stuffy mess and that was the end. First of all. Disappointment. I love cheese. Yes, I stay away from it, but when I want just a little taste of it, I feel like I should be able to have just a little taste of it! Second of all it’s been a long while so it always surprises me when I have some and my bodies reaction is so crazy.

On the bright side! I found dairy free, gluten free cookie dough and not only JUST as dough, but as cookies, they taste like what I assume Heaven will serve when I arrive. (That’s me putting out positive vibes as though Heaven will accept me and such and such and such). Anyway. I’d love to share the brand with you, butttttt they already sell out like crazy and I’m not willing to part with them just yet (this is where hell starts to loom over me).

So dairy has my throat scratchy and my head stuffy like I’m coming down with a cold. Give it a day and it starts to remove itself from my system and voila. THINGS I KNOW.

Other things I know about dairy:
It screws with my hormones. Yea. PCOS. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrom. It’s a mega hormonal imbalance and dairy is just going to make that rollercoaster a real record breaker.
I would love to go in to detail on this but the science is beyond me. The important thing to know is the hormone found in milk from a cow, Insulin Growth Factor-1, is structured the same as Insulin, and also functions similarly. The problem here is that we (women with PCOS) already have TOO MUCH OF THIS Insulin Growth hormone, and when we add to it we just add to the problems. Mo’ insulin’ mo’ problems. (We are insulin resistant, this causes a lot of issues)
Am I right?

I could go on and on about this, but I would have to really really think really really hard to figure out how to write it all down accurately and my brain and science and math are just in constant cahoots. So you’re going to get the super 1st grade version from me most often.

In addition to this IGF-1, you can also find testosterone, progesterone, prolactin, amongst SO many others in dairy milk. Women with PCOS do NOT need to add any of this to our diets either!!

Growing up we have been told calcium was crucial for stronger and healthier bones. Did you know that exercise is really healthy for bone density and strength too?

If you have PCOS, try removing dairy from your diet, just for at least 21 days and see how you feel when it’s gone.

Instead of dairy milk try ANY of the other alternatives available at most grocery stores:

-Flax seed milk, it’s delicious.
-Coconut milk- I love this, it does NOT taste like coconut water to me, I am not a fan of coconut water.
-Oat Milk- This is NOT gluten free, but it to me tastes like melted ice cream. I adore it.
-Almond Milk- If you have nut allergies, please avoid.
(avoid soy milk, regardless of what they say, it’s really not great for you. If you want soy, go with soy beans etc etc. Soy milk is very processed and can also screw with your hormones.. this is a shout out to people everywhere)

-Butter: Vegan Earth Balance , olive oil or coconut oil based are both really delicious.

Cheese: Daiya. This stuff is creamy and delightful. Sounds wrong, but trust your gut and Go with it. 😉

Dark// Chocolate- ‘Enjoy Life’ brands are great. These are all hypo allergenic like my dogs. It doesn’t shed, no nuts, no dairy, no gluten, no fun, but it IS delicious!

Ice cream: I have a serious obsession with So DELICIOUS brands. Coconut and almond based ice cream products. OH man. This is EXTRA good.

COCO WHIP- since I’m not willing to give you my cookie secret just yet, I’ll give you this one. Coconut whip cream is better than regular whip cream and it makes me want to dance on the regular. Go crazy.

Yes all of this will taste a little differently, but that is only because we are used to eating heavily processed foods. It takes us ABOUT 14 days to remove the crap from our systems, and 21 days for our taste buds to change. So hang with it. Healthier foods do start to taste better and the crap begins to taste like, well, crap.

Chin up! You will feel so much better, and again, you don’t know how good, good feels, until you feel great. Do your body a favor, it will thank you later.


Here is a little exercise boost to increase bone density, just so you aren’t freaking out about not getting your calcium intake from dairy.

Let’s start with:

PLANK: We are starting hereeeeee Only because I completed a 42 minute plank last Wednesday, January 20, 2016 during peak week at Orange Theory fitness. I will never break a bone because of this day in history.

Keep your wrists below your shoulders and reach your heals back like you want them to touch the ground. Your hips will stay low so your spine can stay in perfect alignment from neck to tailbone. If you feel pressure in your low back, release your knees to the floor.

LUNGES:::10 each side.
Alternate. When you step out, take a BIG step so your knee stops directly above your ankle, NOT your toes. Use your heals to press back with, if you choose to use your toes, your knees will take this tension on instead of your glutes. And you need to work your glutes!

PUSH UPS:::20 (break as you need or work your way up to this number as the days go on)
I don’t care if you are on your knees or your toes, keep your hips up, if you feel any pressure in your low back, lift your hips slightly or drop your knees to the ground. No pain, hear me?

Squats::: 20

Please be mindful here, again, our knees really don’t want to deal with all of the work, so use your big butt muscles and work ‘em!
Sink back in to your hips. LADIES!! We are lower body warriors so USE this to your advantage! As if you were to sit back in to a chair .. SINK your butt BACK, not straight down because this is when our knees begin to protrude over our toes, our heals start to lift and our glutes stop working for us. WE GOT GLUTES> USE THEM!. So if you must, lift your toes so your heals have to dig in.

Repeat these few exercises 3 times. If you want more.. ADD PLYO. Yes!

Jump alternating lunges
Power push ups (clap between each or just press yourself off of the ground an inch or so and catch yourself with soft elbows-Never ever please please please, land (hands or feet) with locked joints.. knees stay slightly or deeply bent, same with your elbows.
Jump Squats.

And then! Take some yoga.

You can find free videos on youtube, or you can subscribe to some yoga channels. Or please, be my guest and come take a class ☺
And I love hugs, I think that’s also good for your bones, and your heart.

Happy January 26!

Get it!
yoga squad january 2016
This is my Lifetime Yoga Squad. I’m lucky to have them <3


invest in your life

Getting back on the bandwagon I’m taking my focus back to my health goals for the year. I ended 2015 with what seems to be the beginning of shin splints and plantar-fasciitis. The problem here is that I have neglected to take care of my own well being in the process of trying to just stay in shape.
If you aren’t making an investment in yourself, you’re letting your entire body down. I’m trying really hard to prevent injury this year. I think I had gotten so used to living pain free, I stopped worrying about what I wore on my feet. Whereas before I would be making sure I’d switch my shoes out every few months, keep my inserts up to date and foam roll on a more regular basis.
The best quote I’ve heard is, “you don’t know how bad you feel until you finally start feeling great.”
(I quote that loosely, but you get the gist.)

In addition to this, a clean diet offers so many benefits: sleep improvement, an increase in energy throughout the day and a mood booster to boot. This is not a coincidence; there is a direct correlation between food and the way you function both physically and mentally, even emotionally. Food is our energy source, when we fuel our body with crap, we don’t function efficiently. It’s like filling your “PREMIUM ONLY” performance vehicle with 87 or lower grade gasoline.. and that’s the nicest analogy I could muster.. because you know my sailor of a mouth wanted to use all sorts of explicative *&^^%$- here. Anyway, you catch my drift.

A few of my goals for the year include cutting processed carbs. I abstain from most gluten products because it really does make me feel just absolutely terrible, but I’m really going to make an effort to avoid corn-based products too.

CORN: a nutrition less grain. (my own definition… and because I am such a wordsmith, this is a delight for me to share with you.) We think corn chips are so much better for us than plain tortilla chips, but I don’t really know that I agree.. I find myself feeling similar to corn based products as I do with gluten full products.

DAIRY: I keep this out of my diet as it is, but when you are sick, try to avoid dairy products as much as possible. It is a phlegmy type substance and in eastern medicine it is studied as a having a direct correlation to symptoms of a head or chest cold and then some.
Alternatives: Dairy free everything. Almond or Coconut flours have been fabulous for me. We use a vegan butter in our household; if butter is needed at all. Olive and Coconut oils are two staples in our house as well and cheese just doesn’t hang out here.
HOWEVER:::: IF you are a cheese lover! There are dairy free options available here too, and they have gotten pretty darn good! Aged cheeses seem to work ok for my system too, if I’m in the mood for splurging anyway.

READ THIS ARTICLE! It’s really interesting.. and I think you’ll like it. ☺
Also, I have an amazing acupuncturist… I have her info too, she can help with all of this!

Dark Chocolate- this is sneaky. Check the ingredients on the back of your candy bar because a lot of dark chocolate (even the fancy goodness) has milk product in it. You can find vegan chocolate and it is really just as delicious.
Enjoy Life brand is a great alternative. It’s dairy, soy and nut free chocolate. YES PLEASE

PEANUT BUTTER: I’m only adding this in because it has made my life even happier! I developed a nut allergy back in 2013. That was a blast. But I loved peanut butter. Everything peanut butter. So when that was taken away from me my world seemed a bit (dramatic) cloudy. Until my sister discovered and shared with me ‘the sneaky chef!’ It’s peanut butter, but without peanuts and instead made with a sunflower base…. Tastes just like peanut butter! I know there have been plenty of seed butters out there, but this has been by far my favorite. You’re welcome.

Other goals for 2016:

Yoga. As an instructor I have really been slacking in my practice, so making it habit to get on my mat even just 2 classes a week is a new goal for me.
One of those is going to be Sunday yoga at lululemon of Chandler. 10AM. (Check your local lulu store for their free classes).

YOGA RETREATS: This is happening! I put it out there without expecting anything to take flight for a couple of years, but sometimes when you put your dreams out there they manifest themselves in the craziest of ways. Jan and I will be running an 8 day retreat in Ireland THIS SUMMER! For more information on that, you can email us at and check the link in my website under “SWEAT SCHEDULE!”

Blogging: I have been a super inconsistent blogger, and although one of my best friends (and brilliant writer) tells me blogging is for the privileged person just allowing themselves the ability to talk about themselves (duh), I do really want to help others with … shit.
SO! Although you’ll hear a lot about my personal crap, I’m also going to refocus and bring health and fitness back as my main focus.
PCOS is going to be something I really begin to refocus on as well in my posts, you can look back at my older posts for health history here, or you can stay tuned as we try new products and routines that work for those with similar health goodness. WHY?
A. Because it helps me research and understand what’s going on with my body instead of beating it up for not reacting to the “normal’ recommendations of diet and exercise.
B. I think it is really important to experience, discover and share what works and what doesn’t work for my body with others experiencing the same health hurdles.

So stay tuned for all of this fun stuff! I am SO EXCITED for everything to come this year!

Thank you for following and if there is ever a subject or questions you have on anything, please reach out. I love that stuff.
love yourself

The Girl With Kaleidoscope Eyes



Dressed up and ready for our NYE, Meg, Court, Kasey, Sam and I headed out to our 2015 farewell dinner, when everything went … awry. I was with two of my best girlfriends in the universe , my husband, Megs husband, Sam and we were headed out to a night on the frigidly cool Town of my hometown of Traverse City.

Fashionably late we arrived at the Grand Traverse Resort; 7 minutes after our planned reservation time. Rude, I know, but life happens and women have to get dressed or something and put make up on and then we proceeded to stand by and take photos next to the giant Christmas tree adorning the center of the lobby. We then rode the glass elevator to the top floor, we checked our coats and were whisked away to our table. As we waited, we one by one opened our menus only to be greeted with a fixed 4-course meal and a $55++ stamped on the top. What does ++ mean anyway? So it’ll be ABOUT $55? It’s $55-ISH? Mind you, at this moment in time it made perfect sense to me that it was New Years Eve and a fixed menu would make the most sense, however, this was never a topic of discussion when creating the reservation. I, along with everyone else, were a bit shocked. We waited fairly long for our waitress to greet us, and in the meantime we discussed our escape route. The boys went to retrieve our coats as we skidishly awaited their return (that never happened)and then our waitress showed up. A few curve balls later we ended up downstairs at Jack’s Sportsbar. Still dressed up mind you, we joined the crowd of die hard MSU: Go Green! Go White! Fans and proceeded to order greasy bar food and drinks.

At this moment I’m sitting with three of my 29 year old loves, my 38 year old husband and my 31 year old self talking about this thing called life, this crazy, crazy thing we live in every day. I cannot believe we are where we are in life. I cannot believe we are discussing business ventures and babies. This is stuff our parents talked about, these were conversations only ‘old people,’ had. We’ve arrived. Although I definitely don’t consider any of these ages to be ‘old,’ youngER me would beg to differ. Anyway, the conversations and the sports bar was much more our speed, much more our budget, we weren’t dressed for a sports bar, but neither were the bride and groom who were smashed out of their minds starring off in to space. Epic.
We took a moment to relish in it all. Cheers to telling people what we want, to making what we want happen and to not resist what is, but to embrace it. Sometimes you can have the most perfectly planned plan just so it can end completely different. That is perfection.
We headed downtown in our frozen vehicle because it was RULL cold out, we had run out of time for wardrobe change, so we rallied. We ended up at a house party which was also… not a part of the plan, we wanted to see the Cherry Drop downtown, but Kasey, my 38 year old going on 21 year old husband preferred a house party. That’s an entirely different story all together, but the hilarity and stories that came out of it were really something!

We headed back to Charlie’s bachelor pad where we proceeded to freeze to death (our own doing) half of us were slightly intoxicated and the other half were just trying to make it through. We woke up the next day to a winter wonderland. The snow was falling perfectly outside, and with that we decided to walk across the street to the Omlette Shoppe for an early first breakfast of 2016 celebration. We froze, slipped a bit on some hidden ice, said hi to a young high school dude wearing pale blue pants and boat shoes while sitting in his Lexus stuck in a snow bank, realized we were not any help and went on our way. We finished our morning with a trip to the open space, slipped a few more times, snapped a few photos, but it was all so pretty. The quiet of the snow gave us all the space to realize we were probably going to end up with frostbite, but also life is meant to be lived in the moment, to be lived and appreciated when we are fortunate enough to be surrounded by those who love us the most, doing what we want, or maybe what we didn’t know we wanted but ended up there anyway, by spending life in places and spaces and recognizing the importance of simply  just being. It’s about being with our people, but also simply sitting with the peace, love and acceptance of ourselves. We didn’t mean for any of the things that happened to happen, but everything played out exactly as it was meant to and better than we could have ever imagined.

I love happy accidents and I love ending the old year and ringing in the new with the people who matter most me, without resistance to the uncertainty without resistance to change.

This year is going to be a year of change, I can feel it. I’m ready to do more, be more and DREAM BIGGER. Let’s see what you have in store for me 2016, I’m just going to sit back and let you take me where you know I belong.

No set plans, just direction, without resistance only persistence.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”- Socrates




I will be blogging more on health and fitness with intermittent shenanigans because I really love shenanigans.
HAPPY 2016! Get your year on!