Finding Health and Happiness, One Green Smoothie at a Time

I found happiness in a green smoothie and a bowl of fat flush soup.

Who says 38 is old,well some people do, but not this young lady over here! I am proof positive that it’s never too late to make a life change.

2013 came spiraling in for me. Disappointment in my self, my weight, my health, my mood. Frustrated over my older children’s choices. Disenchanted with my marriage. I prayed that the new year would be better for all of us but not really believing what I was saying. I just wanted out, out of my marriage, out of motherhood, out of this body that I couldn’t stand.

I decided one more try at weight loss, we had a competition at work and the prize money was worth giving it a go. I tried a six week cleanse I had done with a Health Coach one more time and it was like a religious experience. Clarity set in. I realized I was my own biggest problem. I was choosing sickness and unhappiness.

I did what any other self respecting overweight lunatic would do, I enrolled in school to become a Certified Health Coach. I jumped in with both feet. Learning everything I could about different dietary life styles, self care practices, acceptance of self and others. I learned how to listen, to choose peace, to own what is mine and let go of what belongs to others.

I have a calmness about me now that wasn’t there before. I take care of my needs, I work on my energy, I let others in, I trust that people are not out to hurt me. I give kisses and hugs. I can listen without offering an unwanted solution. I allow my adult children to make choices I disagree with, without feeling that I have to fix everything. What a difference a year makes.

I am happy, I am healthy, I am whole. Admittedly, I can not add skinny to that list but here’s the thing, I happen to love the Me I am today. I also know tomorrow’s Me is going to be even better. Look at Me strutting my curvaceous stuff. You go girl!

I brought 2014 in quite eventfully. I will be going into surgery in a couple of days, flash backs from an earlier less healthy life style, but i have a confidence that my body will heal and I will be just fine.

I have some great things coming down the line. I will launch my business this Spring, Vivacious Voluptuous Health, working with women to live their best, healthiest life right now, at any size. I will celebrate my 10th Wedding Anniversary. I will be going on a Girl’s Vacation. I will just be Me and I am awesome!


I must’ve added extra spinach to that green smoothie last January and I am so thankful I did! Find the key that opens the door to freedom for you, it doesn’t matter where you are at right now, it’s never too late for awesomeness!

Medicated and Radiated:Choosing Alternative Symptom Care

I woke up the other morning energized. I was ready to take on the world. I mean seriously I had all the tools. I had a healthy mood and food regimen, I had my work out plan all written out. I could not be stopped. I was ready to take on 2014! Until the pain began.
That very same morning I ended up in the ER writhing in pain and fearful. I’m not really the doctor trusting kind of girl. After being medicated and radiated over a nine hour period, I was sent home with a take two of these and another doctor will call you a couple of mornings from now.
As I took the two of these, one of those and on and on, a sadness and despair began to creep in. The side effects, the continued pain, the aggravation of not knowing what was wrong became too much. I eventually took easing the pain into my own hands and used some alternative methods that I believe are worth sharing:

  • Crying: It’s okay to cry. Boy oh boy have I cried, I mean really sobbed but it hurt and I was tired. I needed to get it out. Each good cry was a relief and once I was done I would take a proactive step to making myself feel somewhat better.
  • Hot water bottle: So worth having on hand. Instead of the horrible headaches being caused by the medication to ease my stomach pain a strategically placed water bottle did the trick just as well. Like a warm hug right where you need it. Aaaah.
  • Mint green tea: I had horrendous nausea. I was given a prescription for that symptom also, go figure. The mint tea substitution did the trick, eased the nausea and also because it was decaffeinated it also was hydrating.
  • Water: I slowly sipped water all day. Picture in your head flushing out toxins, getting rid of all the bad and then keep on sipping,
  • Deep breathing and massage: Now I needed help from the Hubby with the massage part but so helpful. The release of endorphins from getting into that good space would ease some of the pain without the guilt caused by taking narcotics, prescription of course!
  • Movement and sleep: I really should label this “Listening to my body.” Basically its sleep when you feel tired and get up and move when you can . I slept for two days straight. I let my body do what it needed to heal itself. The third day I woke up with a burst of energy, washed three dishes, cooked a very basic dinner for my family, felt extremely accomplished and then went back to bed. It sounds silly but it made me feel really good to do something.

After waiting for my doctor to return from vacation, I received my verdict. He looked at me, listened to my symptoms, reviewed my CT scan and pronounced that I would be in surgery in a few days. No fairy tale endings. The natural remedies didn’t cure me. They did exactly what the medications in the ER where intended to do, ease the symptoms of the cause. Sans the side effects.

I guess I did start 2014 on an upswing. There is something empowering about finding healthy alternatives to symptom care that don’t involve medications that cause even more symptoms. Rock on 2014, I’m ready for you!

Tis the Season to be jolly, Ugh! 5 Tips to ensure a happy, healthy Holiday Season.

It’s that time of the year again. Children laughing, people passing, spreading holiday cheer. Shopping carts and ankles meeting, credit card bills a-piling and children in tears. We all love and hate this time of the year. The ups and downs to spending time with family, the Christmas lights twinkling, the resulting light bills, the rich and delicious foods, the higher numbers as you peek down at the scale. So much to look forward to.

This truly is an awesome time of the year. A time of giving and love; gratitude and reflection; and family and friends. We let all the material nonsense get in the way and lose sight of the true meaning of the season.

Here are 5 tips to get you through the hard times and to help you enjoy this wonderful season:

1. Be grateful and express gratitude. It’s so easy to focus on your wants and desires, but what about what you already have? Take time to say thank you. That neighbor that brought in your mail while you were sick. That family member that calls just at the right moment. That job that came just in time. Your child that is doing even just a little bit better than last month. Thank God who comes right on time with all of the above. Expressing gratitude releases all those feel good hormones that will help add a little pep in your step when your feeling down.

2. Take a moment to appreciate the beauty all around you. The trees, the lights, the colors, the music. I love walking down city streets and through department stores. The beautiful chaos of shoppers and decorations, Santa’s and reindeer, children and toys. The Nativity scene alone stirs feelings of love, faith, charity and hope. Don’t miss all the beauty by unnecessary worry. Take a breath and enjoy!

3. Relax. Seriously, just chill. Your family will still love you if the floors don’t shine just so. Your friends won’t judge if the bows are slightly tilted on their presents. Life is too short to waste your time trying to making everything perfect. Please let your friends and family in, grab a glass of egg nog and enjoy yourself. You really don’t want to hear about how fun your get together was on Facebook because you spent the whole time in the kitchen.

4. Follow the 80/20 rule. Please indulge in that sweet treat you’ve been looking forward to. Eat plenty of roasted vegetables, lean meats, and healthy grains and then add a few of the more indulgent items. There should be no deprivation during the holidays. Enjoy yourself.

5. Give. Give and then give some more. Give your time, help with a food drive, volunteer at a Senior Center, take some time and visit your elderly neighbor. Donate food to a pantry, your church, a homeless shelter. Drop change in every Santa’s bucket that you pass. Call in donations to organizations, give your old coats to shelters. Give and then give some more. Smile and wish strangers a happy holiday. Call a friend that’s struggling through the season. Bring food to someone who has to work on the holiday. Give hugs and kisses, share kind words, send Christmas cards. Tell people you love them. Give and give some more.

Love, faith, hope, charity are some of the reasons for the holiday season. Crank up your favorite Holiday music, sing and dance and have fun. Get rid of all negativity and free yourself to embrace all the wonder this time of year offers.

I send to you hugs and love. Always.

Sweep Around Your Own Front Door, from Judgement to Self-improvement

I read a story on Facebook the other day. While having breakfast with her husband a woman would look out the window and criticize her neighborhood as she hung clothes. She would complain how they were never clean enough and discuss the need for a detergent change.

One morning she woke up, sat at her table, and looked out the window and was ready to lay in. The women’s laundry looked immaculate hanging on the line. The woman, not letting it go, advised her husband the neighbor must have changed detergents like she said. Her husband looked at her and kindly advised that no it was not a detergent change. He had just woken up before she did and cleaned their dirty kitchen window.

Judgement is an ugly bedfellow. It will rob us of our own success very quickly. It’s very easy to point out another’s shortcomings when you are wallowing in your own muck. You notice that other woman’s skirt is a bit too snug or that so and so’s children are so unruly. You see that couple and say they aren’t as happy as they appear. The problem with the judgement is that it temporarily makes you feel “better” about your own situation without actually doing anything to make changes to improve yourself.

Step outside of yourself for a bit and think about the last person you judged. That woman with the snug skirt, wow, six months ago she was much heavier. Maybe that skirt was a triumphant milestone for her.

That woman with the unruly kids, notice how you see her, always running from this place to the next. Always by herself. Never screaming just caring for her “unruly” children. Maybe she’s a single Mom, maybe her husband is fighting for our Country, maybe just maybe you can remember that your own brood hasn’t earned their angel wings yet neither.

That couple that you love to hate. The wife’s a flirt, the husband’s a cheat. They aren’t really happy it’s all a facade. Maybe it is, but boy oh boy, what if it isn’t? Last time I checked that couple was celebrating 15 years hugging, smiling and flirting while you stood alone.

Take in that moment. Was there something about yourself that you wanted to change? Something that made you feel not quite good enough? Were you sad, angry, helpless, lonely? We criticize and judge to project our own self-recriminations on others. We create walls and barriers that block out light and love. We build fences that prevent us from reaching our goals. We push people who love us aside by forgetting that no one is perfect. We hurt others to alleviate our own pain.

I grew up listening to a song by the Williams Brothers, “Sweep Around Your Own Front Door.” Take care of your own business first. Like the woman’s husband, take the time and clean your own windows, clear away your own muck. Your misery and unhappiness will no longer be blocking your vision. You will begin to see those you’ve judged and criticized in the past in a different light. You may even feel so good about yourself and your achievements that you’ll have a kind word to share.

It’s so much easier on our hearts to love than judge. Practice listening to yourself. Take time before you address others’ “issues.” Honor others’ hearts and feelings as you would wish for your own to be honored. As corny as it sounds, Love IS the answer. Self-love and projected love needs to be given and allowed to be received.

Be kind to yourself and others.


Top 5 Words to Delete from Your Vocabulary


Great read! You can definitely talk your way out of being the best YOU you can be.

Originally posted on Everyday Power Blog:


In this article we explore how language and self talk impact our ability to motivate ourselves, achieve at high levels and live the life we deserve. We also look at 5 popular dis-empowering words and phrases and replace them with empowering words and phrases to support motivation, success, love, gratitude and achievement.
Let’s get straight to it.
Our actions create our life… Agree? Our thoughts create our actions…. Agree? Our thoughts are communicated to us in the form of language…. Agree? So…how can we live our largest, most expressive and most loving life if we are using vocabulary that makes us smaller, weaker and discouraged.
Do you know anybody, maybe even yourself, who loves to use phrases like: “This only happens to me”, “Life’s a b*tch“, “I caaaaaaaaan’t!”, “Never!”, “I just can’t win”, “I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t”.
The biggest problem with these…

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5 Ways to Save yourself. Accepting you’re a Super Human not Superhuman!

My daughter was a little something watching the movie Titanic. As she quietly sat through the really intense scene where Kate Winslet is trying to free Leonardo DiCaprio as the ship was sinking, I could see the tension building in her body. She suddenly hollered out “Save yourself!”

It was funny at the time but rings so true now. Like the pre-flight instructions advise, “Put your own oxygen mask on first,” so should you live your life. We as women have a compulsive need to be everything for everyone. We take care of children, family, friends. We smile through pain, hide our tears, rip and run and never take time to care for ourselves.

The result is always the same, we end up tired, sick and hurt because there’s no one to save us.

Save yourself!!

The first step is to recognize that you are a being that needs to be loved and cared for, even as life is happening all around you. Here are some other tips for getting that mask on your own face first before you help anyone else:

Stop and breathe: Before you react, take time to breathe, gather your thoughts and create an action plan. Make sure that plan involves asking others for help. You are a super human, not super-human, accept it and move on.

Walk or run away: Go for a walk or a run, whichever will not kill you. Choose a walking trail or the track at an off time. Have a loving  conversation with yourself. Tell yourself it will be okay. Love yourself. Try, “I am at peace, I am loved, I will be just fine, “be sure to open your heart to believe and accept it.

Pray and meditate: Speak to whichever Higher Power you believe in. If you are not a religious person, conversate with yourself. Begin with thanks for what you have, where you are right now. Express gratitude for all the favor you’ve been shown so far. Ask for what you need, don’t be shy, now’s the time to get it all out. Cry, moan, lay down, curl up, kneel, humble yourself and when you are all done, take time again to give thanks for blessings to come.

Drink plenty of water and eat good foods: Oh, you knew it was coming. Make sure you take time to eat and drink. You can not get anything accomplished if you are suffering from brain fog and exhaustion. Staying hydrated will help regulate your blood pressure, prevent headaches and fend off illness. Eating a healthy meals will regulate blood sugars, mood, and provide the energy needed to manage whatever life has thrown you.

Sleep: This may seem to be the hardest of all to achieve. Our minds race, our heart feels like it’s beating in overdrive and we feel that hollowness in the pit of our stomach when crisis is occurring and we try to settle down to sleep. I promise you, if you practice the other four steps above you will be able to rest. Your body knows what it needs. Give it the right love, the right energy and it will love you back. You will find peace and solace in the dark. If your mind still races even after you’ve taken care of yourself, write down your thoughts. Give yourself a moment to release it then close your notebook and lay down to rest with peace in your heart.

Love yourself!!

Loving  yourself is the best thing that you can do to be a help to others. There is such beauty in taking time to heal. Once you’ve established that your mask is secure, by all means jump in to assist others. Always remember to check your mask every now and again, readjust the straps, and make sure all is well.

Take time to take care of yourself so that you in turn may care for others. Hugs.


What’s your excuse?

As I looked at the picture of the beautiful Mom with her toned body, pretty smile, and three little boys and read the caption, “What’s your excuse?”, I immediately responded “bitch”!
I pondered on that thought for a while. My excuse. Didn’t think I needed one. I applaud her for having young children all in succession. I appreciate she is able to maintain her exercise regimen and remain as fit as she has. However, just as I am not asking her to justify why she’s had three children so close together, I do not need to be prompted to strip and determine why I am a fat screw up.
I strongly believe that we all have to take a step back, appreciate where we are presently and decide where we want to be in the future in order to reclaim good health. I stripped into my bra and panties and began taking pictures of myself in the mirror. I appreciated the vision I saw. My curves, my dimples, the color of my skin. My smile as I looked at myself. I began to love myself in the mirror, no excuses, no condemnation, just love.
I gave myself sometime to just appreciate my present. To love the Nicole I am today. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and opened them. My conversation turned to is there anything you want to improve upon. What change will make you better than you are today?
I was honest with my self. I began to write down goals. I can still feel the warmth and self-acceptance as I planned out my next 30 days. No condemnation, no excuses, just love and a path to improvement.
I am and will always be a work in progress. I will not always have weight to lose but I am constantly on a path of self improvement. I love myself and therefore am always trying to learn something new, acquire a new skill, become better in some form or fashion. I see myself as a butterfly becoming more beautiful as seasons change.
My message is simple: Improvement can not begin with condemnation. Love is always necessary. First you must love the you that you are today, appreciate and accept your present. Once you begin to see yourself for the wonderful being you are, we can then take attainable steps to making an even more wonderful you in the future.
I wish for you blessings and awesome experiences throughout your day today. Don’t forget to hug yourself.


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