Getting Over It and Pumpkin Spice Creamer! (Month Four at Integrative Nutrition)

juggling it all

Have you ever felt like you were not enough? Everybody wanting something from you and you couldn’t possibly meet everyone’s expectations?

Was it the Women’s Revolution that brought about this situation? Women used to have their ‘place’ in the home. Now, anyone who know’s me knows that I don’t agree with that one bit…but there was a focus, and women could keep the home as they deemed fit and that was their expertise. When women truly entered the workforce, did their jobs in the home end? No, they were expected to manage both! Today, men of our era certainly do much more in the home than men did 50 years ago, but most women still feel it is their job to maintain the home and provide food, clean laundry, etc.

I have been talking with women all over the world the past few months during my work as a student at Integrative Nutrition, and that theme is present everywhere. I have always wanted to be the best mom, wife, sister, daughter, employee…and the list goes on and on! When I feel overwhelmed, it is very easy for me to feel I can’t do it and to seek comfort in food, alcohol or exercise….yes, exercise! Even that has become a place that I can land and I am always applauded for making a “healthy” choice in dealing with my stress. The problem is, if I am still experiencing a great deal of stress and have no idea how to effectively deal with it in the moment, is that really “dealing with it”?

How do we as women solve this daily problem? I believe the answer is to let it go (enter the theme song from Disney’s Frozen movie…) 🙂 Seriously, life is a journey, not a destination! Is there ever going to be a day when we say to ourselves “Well, I made it! I am now the perfect wife, mother, etc.!” No!!! We may have our moments when we feel that we are managing it all well, but something is sure to change that. Today, I might feel that I am excelling at work, but then I’ll come home to find that I forgot to buy eggs… Life happens! Get over it! Accept that at any given moment, you are doing the best you can and don’t worry so much. You can always run out and get the eggs after you fold the laundry 🙂

Pumpkin Spice Creamer

Since it’s Fall and everywhere you look, you see people holding a Starbucks cup, I thought I’d pass on my Pumpkin Spice Creamer recipe. You can add to coffee or drink by itself as a warm, comforting cup of Fall!

Pumpkin creamer ingredients


3/4 c. pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

3 c. coconut milk (or other milk of choice)

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. each of: pumpkin pie spice, turmeric, cinnamon

*Add all ingredients to a quart glass jar. Put on lid and shake to mix. Store in refrigerator.

pumpkin creamer jar


The Liebster Award – Wow! – (Month Three at Integrative Nutrition)

liebsteraward_3lilapples1I have been trying to get to writing another blog post, but life is flying at warp speed right now (just finished Month 3 at Integrative Nutrition!)… I have created a Facebook page for This One Healthy Life (my new health coaching business-yeah!) and am working on building up readership there, getting sketches and designs together to create a logo for the business so I can order business cards, trying to make some great meals that are photo worthy to add to the new page (and here), football practices, dr. appointments, family vacations, and the list goes on and on and on! Oh, and yesterday I started back in the classroom to get the room set up for my new first graders coming after Labor Day! Yikes! I’m not ready!!!

What I love about it all, however, is that I am having the time of my life getting to know new people and ideas, and turning it all into something amazing…I am so excited for this next year of my life and the ways that I am changing and growing. Now, if I could just figure out my exercise routine, everything would be perfect! (Right?!)

Some exciting news is that I have been nominated for a blogging award called the Liebster Award. This is an honor given by bloggers to bloggers to promote and highlight smaller, lesser known blogs (under 200 followers). It’s accepted with the intention of paying it forward, meaning each honoree shall nominate other small blogs. My nomination came from Booty Barre extraordinaire Rita Horter, over at Completely Rita, who I met after enrolling at Integrative Nutrition. We discovered that we were both from the same small town and both embarking on the journey of becoming health coaches! What a small world… We are enjoying getting to know each other and being able to practice all of our newly developing coaching skills 🙂 Thank you, Rita, for the nomination!

Here are the rules:

1. You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you.

2. You must pick 10 bloggers with a small following to be nominated for the award (other versions of the rules give you the range of 5-10).

3. You must create 10 questions for the nominees to answer on their blog.

4. Then link back to the person who nominated you.

5.  And then go to each new nominee’s blog and notify them of the nomination.

My questions from Rita:

  1. Why did you start your blog? I started this blog in January of 2013, to help me put all of my thoughts, information and recipes into one place and be able to share it with others dealing with food allergies.
  2. What’s your dream guest-blog gig? Hmmm… not exactly sure, but I am in LOVE with both Elephant Journal and Mind Body Green, so those are probably my top two!
  3. If you could have any talent, what would it be? Having never been very graceful, I would love to be able to dance…and not look like a fool!
  4. What does your perfect day look like? There are so many things that could constitute a perfect day, but right now I would say: half a day to myself, reading in the sun on my patio, and half a day having fun with family…a perfect balance of my loves 🙂
  5. Were you named after anyone? If so, who? Not that I am aware of…though there is that song…Summer Breeze by Seals & Crofts…I used to imagine that my name came from that song…”Blowing through the jasmine in my mind…”
  6. What is your favorite smell? Lemon oil or almond extract
  7. Kindle or book? Book….all the way!
  8. What’s a normal breakfast for you? sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, mushrooms, scrambled egg…the best savory breakfast ever!
  9. If you had to choose only one form of exercise for the rest of your life, what would it be? walking, definitely!
  10. Go to the store or shop on the internet? Prefer to see things in person, so the store…but I rarely have time so I shop online more and more these days 🙂

My nominees: – Julianna Van Wagner – Julianna has created her blog/website to help others also diagnosed with Gastroparesis, an intestinal disorder. She shares great recipes with her readers. – Kimberly Bayne – Though Kimberly is just starting out with her writing, her blog about Those Girls was one that should be shared with young girls as they start on their journey into womanhood. Very powerful. – Melissa Kessler – As a Type 1 diabetic, Melissa has worked hard to live a healthy life. But her journey into eating natural foods and becoming a health coach is helping her see things in a whole new way. I especially appreciated her recent post about heading out to the farmers’ market, a place that many find intimidating until they try it. – Beth Werhan – Beth’s mission is to help people live healthier lives through faith. I hope she continues to develop the blog, as I know there is a group of followers out there looking for this exact thing. – Julia Pimental – Julia’s mission is “to give you relevant, helpful information that will empower you take the steps to feel your best!” Her latest post, Gifts Passed Through Generations, hit a special place in my heart as I have been thinking a lot lately about the relationships between generations.

Nominees, here are your questions:

1.) What is the story behind your blog?

2.) What is your favorite meal to make at home with less than 5 ingredients?

3.) What is the best $100 you have ever spent?

4.) If you could be featured in Health magazine for your blog, what kind of article would you contribute?

5.) What is one skill you would like to obtain over the next two years?

6.) What is one piece of advice that you wish you could pass on to everyone else?

7.) If we were to pull out all of the items in your purse right now, what would we find?

8.) Whenever you are having a bad day, what do you do to perk up?

9.) If, like the newspaper, you could have anything of your choice delivered to your doorstep every morning, what particular item would you want it to be?

10.) What is one way you hope to influence readers with your blog?

What a fun way to share the blog love!!!


What is a Health Coach? (Month Two at Integrative Nutrition)

Credit: "Yoga" by artzsamui from

Find Balance with a Health Coach …….. Credit: “Yoga” by artzsamui from

Have you ever been super excited about something and just wanted to scream it from the rooftops? Maybe you lost the last five pounds you had been working on or improved the speed of your 5K? This is how I feel about being a student at Integrative Nutrition right now. This past month alone, we have studied raw, vegan, macrobiotic and whole foods ways of eating. We have also learned about superfoods, eastern vs. western approaches to medicine, listening to your intuition, and entrepreneurship. At times, I feel as though I can’t possibly take in enough information and other times my brain is too full for anything else! But explaining to others exactly what my ‘job’ will entail is a bit tricky…

It might actually be easier to tell you what a health coach is NOT:

1. A Health Coach is not a doctor, yet might be able to help you find a ‘cure’ for the issues you might be having. Headaches, digestion issues, joint pain? Often these issues are tied to a reaction you are having to certain foods. A health coach is there to help you discover the connection between the two and could help alleviate some of your health concerns.

2. A Health Coach is not a dietitian, but I will be able to help you find the foods that work best for your body and lifestyle. Maybe you would like to eat more veggies, but have no idea where to start. I will be able to help you with discovering new foods and recipes. I can even head to the grocery store or farmers’ market with you to give you support!

3. A Health Coach is not a personal trainer, though I will be able to help you add physical activity to fit your schedule and needs. I can help you find which activities really work for your body type and personality. Like to workout with someone or alone? In the morning or at night when the kids are asleep? We can get there.

4. A Health Coach is not a magician, but I will be able to help simplify healthy living and assist you in creating more balance in your life. Are you over-booked and over-tired? Do you meet everyone else’s needs but forget to care for yourself? I’ve been there and you can move beyond that.

From the Integrative Nutrition website:

What is a Health Coach?

A Health Coach is a wellness authority and supportive mentor who motivates individuals to cultivate positive health choices. Health Coaches educate and support clients to achieve their health goals through lifestyle and behavior adjustments. Proper health coach training programs and health coach certification ensure that Health Coaches know how to work with diverse groups of people and equips them with the tools necessary to best fit the needs of their clients.

“Chronic diseases such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes wreck our quality of life and cost a fortune. In recent years, a new and intriguing concept has emerged in the prevention and treatment of chronic illness: the health coach.” –CBS News, October 2009


“The primary objectives of health coaching are to educate the patient regarding self health management and to encourage patients in taking a more proactive role in staying healthy.”-Medical Economics, Nov 2010

So, yes. I am excited to work with others to develop healthier lifestyles and families. I am completely motivated to work on my own health issues so that I will be more knowledgeable about how to help others with theirs. But am I ready right now? Not yet. I have sooooo much more knowledge to fit in my brain and still more balance to seek 🙂



This is officially my last “free” weekend day before I begin my health coaching classes at Integrated Nutrition, and I am trying to make the best use of my time. But what is the best use of time? 

Checking Things Off the “To-Do List”

For years I spent my vacations and long weekends doing exactly this…getting ahead. I would make a long list of things that “needed” to get done before I went back to school/work. I would organize my days around those activities and would feel super accomplished when I checked each thing off the list. If I didn’t get each thing done, however, I would feel bad. I would think of the time that I had wasted doing something not on the list, sometimes even secretly adding activities to the list and then crossing them off, just to feel like I accomplished more. (Has anyone else ever done this too, or is it just me?) In the end, I didn’t feel like I did all that I was supposed to, and I felt like I didn’t get any time to relax because I was so focused on the list.


I used to be very bad at relaxing. (Is that even possible?) But when I injured both of my knees a few years ago, I was forced to figure out how to do it. I first tried to continue getting things done on my lists, all while sitting with my knees propped up on pillows. Eventually, I ran out of things to do and had to work on just sitting and reading magazines, listening to podcasts and just soaking up the sunshine. Once I got the hang of it, I think I started to master “the art of doing nothing”. The problem then came when my legs were working just fine and I couldn’t seem to get anything accomplished any more. I was really good at relaxing, but had forgotten how to check things off my list, so to speak.

Scheduling Priorities

One of my favorite lessons from my introduction to IIN is that of the Big Rocks. You can watch a lesson on YouTube here, but I’ll give you the basic premise. Before getting caught up in all of the things that you have to get done, select your priorities. You could do this daily, weekly or monthly, but you want to stick with just a few things that are really the 3-6 most important things you must focus on to stay true to yourself. Maybe it’s your relationship with your family, your fitness and your career. Maybe it’s your eating habits, time for yourself and organizing your home. Whatever it is, focus on it and schedule time for it. Then let the other things fill in around those. 

So for me, this last day is going to be spent on my priorities: posting to the blog (DONE), quality time with my family, time cleaning and organizing my soon-to-be office, and time for fitness. Not only will I feel like I have checked off all of my boxes on the list, but I will feel energized and recharged for my last week before “school” officially begins. 


The Journey Continues

Life is a journey…I know it’s a cliche, but it really is true. Just talk to anyone (over 30 anyway), and they can tell you that there is some aspect of their life that did not go according to plan. But the funny thing is…things usually work themselves out somehow. Out of complete disaster, new beginnings can occur.

I will be the first to admit that two years ago, our family was dealing with some pretty heavy issues. Our son was going through testing to try to figure out what was causing his intense behavior issues. At that time, I felt like a failure as a mother. I was a teacher, had a Masters’ degree in Education, and yet I had no idea how to “make him behave”. Through this journey we discovered his high anxiety and extreme allergies. We also got to finally discover the sweet little boy that we knew was hidden behind all of the anger. But that is a long story for another day…

Discovering my son’s and my allergies was a first step, but it has been a long road. I have spent countless hours reading and researching diets, vitamins, minerals and doctors. I have tried out several eating styles and philosophies, much to the dismay of the rest of my family, at times. 🙂 But each new book or webinar led us to where we are today, eating much healthier and feeling more grateful and happy than we ever have.

During this transformation, I have become fascinated by the human body and the power of foods in healing. As it has turned into something I am passionate about,  I have had many friends and family members talk to me about healthy foods and ask for advice regarding this or that.

This past winter, I came upon an online school called the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Everything that had resonated with me to this point, has been captured by this school: the healing nature of foods, the role of stress in disease, the need for a change in the way we live our lives. They emphasize physical activity, which is obvious, but also quality relationships in your life, career happiness and spirituality… things that I knew were important, but hadn’t exactly been a part of what I thought of when I thought of ‘healthy life’.

After some serious contemplation and long discussions with my husband, I decided to enroll in their program to become a Health Coach. The program is all conducted online and requires 5-10 hours of work per week, do-able for a full-time teacher and mom. Will it be crazy busy sometimes? Of course…but I am pretty familiar with that, so it’s all good. 🙂

What’s next? I don’t know. Life is a journey, so I’m not going to try to predict how this will all work out. What I do know is that I am pursuing a passion that makes me feel fulfilled and will help me and those I love. And??? I can start seeing clients by December, so if you know of anyone ready for a journey of their own, refer them to me!  🙂

keep calm and call your health coach