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Cardio Junkie and the Fitbit!

Ever since I saw the Body Buggs on the Biggest Loser years ago, I have needed wanted one. My husband the sometimes wiser one of us two…told me not to get one. He told me I would probably become too obsessed with the stats and always be wanting to work out. See, I am a cardio junky. I love doing anything cardiovascular. I crave it. He knew this could be my downfall. I listened to his voice of reason and resisted getting one. Fast forward to December 2013. I was given a fitbit flex

fitness Christmas exercise

fitbit flex

for Christmas.  Oh. My. Gosh. It was love at first sight! The set up was easy, even for me! After that I simply downloaded the app on my iphone and I was in business! If you aren’t familiar with the fitbit flex it is a step tracking device and so.much.more, that you wear on your wrist.  It can track you sleep, your miles, your calories (by entering in your food) your weight and active minutes. Do I sound obsessed??  Two things I love about it is that you can connect with other friends who have one too and send messages or just see their step totals and it is water proof which was wonderful since I wore it in the shower often. At first my step count wasn’t very accurate and that bugged me, big time. So, I had to set it specifically to my pace and then it was fine.

This tool, you guys, was so motivating! And yes! I became a bit obsessed! I had my steps set to be 10,000/day but if my average was at 14,000/day for that week, I would not let myself go below that. I could be found out walking the neighborhood in the dark to finish getting my steps in. I was totally and completely in love. Plus, the band comes in lots of different colors! I had a black one since that seemed to go with everything! Then, there’s the vibration it gives you on your wrist when you hit your goal! Scared Surprised me every time. Then….then they came out with the fitbit charge.

exercise tracker Mothers day, fitness, steps

My Fitbit Charge!!

It does all the things the flex does…but is a watch, tells you your steps right on the device (not on your phone app), tracks flights of stairs climbed AND vibrates when you get a phone call and even scrolls the name of the person calling you! All on your wrist!!  CAN YOU EVEN STAND IT????? I upgraded (obviously), for Mother’s day. My husband got himself the fitbit charge HR (with a heartrate monitor) for himself. Game on! It’s a joy and so motivating to wear it everyday! Did you know that if I don’t specifically work out, I only walk about 5,000 steps/day. But if I add in Costco and Trader Joe’s I can get up to 7-8,000 steps. And I ALWAYS try to beat Trevor’s steps for the day! If you need a little encouragement to get walking and moving…get this! Really, get this! And then befriend me on it so it will keep me motivated!

Fitbit alta**Update…I wrote this almost a year ago and now am asking for the latest..the Fitbit Alta for my Birthday in July! I can’t wait! I now do a daily challenge on the app for all interested to help with workout accountability!

 

 

I Don’t Want To Grow Up!

Remember when 30 sounded old? Wait, maybe it still does to you!

The year I was turning 30, there was a popular TV show, Friends, in which one of the main characters (Rachel) was turning 30. She refused to come out of her room and was utterly depressed at the thought of being that old.

I have to admit, that was me…when I turned 30. I felt like I had reached the age that I always thought of as OLD!

Wasn’t I cute!

Whether or not we want it to happen, it does…time passes. We embrace it, fight it, or try not to acknowledge it.

And then we start noticing it around us. Our favorite actors start looking older, friends, former classmates or family members start having health concerns. Recently, there have been the deaths of three great artists; David Bowie, Glenn Frey and Alan Rickman. Losing those three has magnified the quick journey of life. Also…not to be ignored…our kids remind us of the quick passing of the days, weeks, months and years as they grow up before our eyes.

For me, I’ve had a few distinct moments in which I felt the passing of time all too clearly.

The first, when I was 25. My 25th birthday as a matter of fact. I was driving and it was sunny out. At a stop light I checked my make up in the mirror and smiled. Quickly followed by a gasp. When I had smiled, I had seen wrinkles!!!!

WHAT??? I was only 25!!!

I had wrinkles around the outside of my eyes when I smiled. Horrifying!

Sarah and I hiking. Approx. 23 years old

Sarah and I hiking. Approx. 23 years old

The next time was when, while in job and house selling transition, we were living with my parents. My husband, my eleven month old daughter and me.

As I walked downstairs with my baby on my hip, I remarked that I still felt like I was only babysitting…that I felt as if I wasn’t old enough, to have my own child. My mom, with no malicious intention, assured me that I was plenty old to have

my own child (I was 30 yrs old when Gabrielle was born).

Truly, I was definitely old enough to be a mom.

Christmas 2002

Christmas 2002

The third, was when roles switched between parent and child with my dad. See, he had a massive heart attack just over two years ago. His body and mind have struggled to recover from the medically induced coma that followed. He is now a resident at a local nursing home. I visit often, encouraging him to do physical therapy, play UNO with me, care to some of his self care needs or just hold his hand while we watch a tv show together. This one, was truly the hardest.

In my head, you see, I am still his little girl.

In reality, it is his well being and his needs and his care that I protect. Not the other way around.

My Mom, Carson and My Dad 2008

My Mom, Carson and My Dad 2008

Throughout all of these milestones, I am learning acceptance of the aging happening to me while I’m not looking. With this passing of time comes things I cherish.

 

 

 

 

  1. Self confidence: I am so much more secure in the adult I’ve become and am finally ok with letting my goofy side show, following my dreams and standing up for what I believe in.
  1. Self Acceptance: If you have read my other blog about why I do what I do, you will know that I have struggled with body image issues for years. With age, I am learning to accept my body, my intense loyalty, and other things while realizing that I still have things to learn and work on.
  1. Friendships: I have realized that not only does it take a village to raise a child, it takes a village to do life. Being a caring and loyal friend has become a priority. Seeking out friendships and learning to lean on those in my village when feeling weak has been invaluable.
  1. Passion: This. Life goes by too quickly to not be doing things you love. In work, in play, with friends, with family as well as by yourself.
  1. Experiences: I wouldn’t change any of my experiences. They are my story. What makes me unique, what makes me love, laugh and cry. This is what gives me wisdom and empathy.

Looking back, I appreciate my youth. My easy movement in my body, my naivety, my innocence. I also appreciate my three moments where the passing of time took me by surprise.

I love the wrinkles I have from smiling and laughing. It means I lived life with great joy.

Becoming a mother…that was one of the most wonderful and hardest things ever. A good friend of mine says that with children, your heart now walks outside of your body. Truth.

Watching my dad age and need help and be vulnerable, makes me feel blessed that I am able to provide that support, care and love he needs with no judgment…because he did it for me.

All and all, this is life. You can live it fighting and complaining or embracing and accepting. I choose the latter! Every day, I choose the latter. I choose to live each day to its fullest, try new adventures, say yes when I would say no. I choose to get out of my comfort zone and work on embracing change. I choose to be present with my kids and husband, to love deeply and to keep learning and growing.

In the words of Master Oogway from the movie Kung Fu Panda:   ‘Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the Present’

I have decided that I do want to grow up. I love this life. I plan to live each of my ‘gifts’ to the fullest.

2016…Let’s get S.M.A.R.T.

NEWSFLASH! STARTING 2 NEW GROUPS!!!

SILVERDALE: Starting 5/5/16 8-9am Thursday mornings at Cafe Noir

POULSBO: Starting 5/4/16 5:30-6:30pm Wednesday evenings at Safeway (fireplace area)

 

2015 is over. Maybe your 2015 was an amazing year and you accomplished all you hoped and planned to. I had every intention to come into 2015 with power and adventure and to keep up that roar the whole year. See, I was coming off of a rough 2014. I was in a car accident at the end of 2013, my dad had a massive heart attack and 5 weeks after I was rear ended, my husband was hit. So, we started 2014 with two totalled cars, my body not bouncing back to normal, and my dad struggling to get his health back. I couldn’t get cleared to go back to work as a personal trainer, I was in pain almost all the time and couldn’t lift my left arm higher than 90 degrees. September 2014, I had shoulder and bicep surgery to repair the damage done in the car accident and I went back to school. With the surgery behind me, I was ready to attack 2015. However, my body had other plans. While I did finish school and was able to start my own business in a profession I love as a health and fitness coach, I struggled alot with pain in my neck and head leftover from the accident. Everytime a flare hit, I got knocked on my butt. It was pretty discouraging. All those plans of ROARING went to sleep while I just tried to get through the year.

Here it is 2016. I am hopeful! I believe in the power of goal setting. I believe in the power of accountability. I believe in perseverance. Never give up on your goals; change, tweak and modify if necessary, but don’t give up.

Goals shared are powerful. Goals can include anything we place value on accomplishing: spending one on one time with each person in our family every week, getting 20  minutes of cardio activity daily, setting up a lunch date with an old friend, putting the iphone down when our kids or spouse walks into the room, advancing in your career, switching careers, etc.

goals 1

Last year I did a video on a tool that I use continually for my goal setting. It’s the S.M.A.R.T. plan. watch S.M.A.R.T. video here. It isn’t a new concept but it works.

I started thinking about the power of goal setting, encouragment and accountability. I have BIG plans and goals this year. To make them manageable, I am fine tuning them through the S.M.A.R.T. plan. Here is my idea for you! I think we all can accomplish big, powerful and possibly life changing things this year, together! I’m excited to offer some S.M.A.R.T. goal achieving groups. I have 2 different weekly options: 1. Bainbridge Island, Starbucks, Tuesdays 8-9am.  2. Poulsbo, Safeway, Thursdays, 5:30-6:30pm. Both groups start the week of January 17th, but if that week doesn’t work for you, try another week. All groups are on-going.  Come check it out! The first visit is FREE! Any visits after that are $10. Having and bringing a Planner is highly encouraged! Check out Passion Planner here. Wouldn’t you love to begin this year knowing you are UNSTOPPABLE, SUPPORTED and EMPOWERED?!  Let’s do this! No goal is too small! Try it out and bring a friend or two! Let’s start going after our dreams instead of hoping our dreams will come to us!

goals 4

Contact me at darcymonette@yahoo.com for questions and to let me know you are interested! Pass the word!! SEE YOU THIS WEEK!!!

Why do it and What is it?? PART 1

This blog is about me, truly, about me. I wanted to tell you my journey about why I do this profession (Part 1) and what it is that I do(Part 2).

Unless you really get to know me, you might figure I have always a) worked out b) been in shape c) eaten healthy or d) it comes naturally to me. However, if you’ve spent enough time around me and I’ve opened up…you know that I do truly enjoy working out, but was not athletic in my childhood, AT ALL. You might know that I have struggled with my body image, food addiction and weigh most of my life. Also, that I have an addictive personality and that one way it manifests in me is with food (sugar specifically) and that nothing comes naturally to me except loving people and being a 110% extrovert.

So, a little history about me. I was adopted at the age of two weeks into a strong Christian, Scandinavian family with one boy 22 months older than me. I grew up in a small community that makes up Bainbridge Island. My grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all lived there and it was a great, safe and sheltered childhood. I was the only extrovert in my family of reserved Scandinavians which suited me just fine as I had the spotlight if I ever wanted it.

When I was a toddler I developed an autoimmune disease called glomerulus nephritis. I don’t remember alot of what happened during this time other than I was in and out of the hospital, was on a sodium restricted diet and was given prednisone. Looking back, I think the restricted diet started my sneaking of food (salt free cheese tastes terrible! At least as a kid!), as well as my craving of food and my labeling of food as being something I could or couldn’t have. The prednisone…well, that was rough. If you have even been on prednisone for a long period of time or know someone who has…you know what I’m talking about. I was puffy, hugely puffy. Probably all over,but I just remember it in my face. Honestly, at the time, I was in Kindergarten and didn’t know I looked any different from anyone else, except for the teasing. I was taunted and teased by the older children as I got off  the bus in mornings and on the bus in the afternoons. That was when I first realized I looked different than everyone else and it was (it seemed) a bad different. By first grade, my school pictures show that my ‘puffiness’ was decreasing…but, of course, the damage was done. By mid-second grade year, my autoimmune disease had resolved (normally it lasts until puberty so I was fortunate) and I was able to eat salty foods again and re-gained a healthy, ‘normal’ life.

Fast forward 6-7 years later…I have a naturally round face with chubby-ish cheeks, cute, not beautiful…but when I looked in the mirror, all I saw was a fat face, worthy of scorn and ridicule and not love and affection. 8th grade is when I dove into the world of anorexia. I say, ‘dove’ not tripped or fell. I dove…by calculated choice. I was an avid reader and had read many true stories of other women who were anorexics and I longed for that. The ultimate ‘control’ over  my body and my food. I bought mass amounts of laxitives at different stores without my parents knowing (no easy feat when you don’t yet drive), I stole appetite suppressents from my grandma (I still feel shame for that), worked out every chance I got and rarely ate.

As you can imagine (maybe, maybe not) the more self-focused I became, the more miserable I was. I lied constantly, was cold, exhausted, manic, hungry or in extreme GI discomfort (from taking 10+ laxatives at a time) all the time.  Felt guilt and hatred toward myself if I ate, guilt and hatred toward myself if I starved. Miserable. How anyone stayed friends with me during this time, I’ll never know (thanks Sarah, Terri, Suzy and Lenore).

I remember clearly one day that I just got so tired of the lying that I decided to stop. Stop the laxatives, appetite suppressants, starving and lying. Still, my parents suspected and confronted me and I wound up in counseling. Counseling was neither helpful or harmful…I just didn’t let it in enough to truly have it do any good. After all, I had already stopped the ‘active’ part of my eating disorder and what more was there.

In 10th grade, I felt my eating had gotten out of control and started stealing syrup of ipecac to make myself throw up when I babysat. Talk about sick and disgusting…and once again, totally self-absorbed, broken and hurting.

I kept this secret to myself and never told anyone I was doing this…it disgusted me. The last time I ever took syrup of ipecac, I threw up so many times that blood came up. I never have taken it since.

In my late teens and early 20’s, I felt as if I just ‘grew out’ of my eating disorder, but it was still there. I hid it by working out ALL THE TIME! That became my new obsession/addiction. I still thought I was fat, had stubby legs, too big of a butt etc…but these feeling dictated how I felt about myself every minute of everyday. If I ate very little or ‘healthy’ or worked out alot…then my day was a success and I was a great person. If I ate ‘bad’ or didn’t workout…I failed and was a failure.

It was about this time that I started reading. Diet books, nutrition books, healthy living/eating books. Anything and everything. I tested everything out. Some things were actually healthy and some things ‘stuck’. Others weren’t very healthy and some of those ‘stuck’ too. But I was single and living on my own and trying to make my way. My weight fluctuated all the time along with my moods and self worth. Around this time, I discovered running. I fell in love with it and ran regularly with my dear friend, Thereasa. Let me tell you, you do alot of soul searching when you spend that much time running. With the running thing in my life, my habits began to focus less on food and body image and more on health, strength and running goals.  Running has continued to be a healthy outlet for me.

I continued to know, on some level, that I still had a problem. A problem with food addiction and body image, but I pushed it away…pretended I had a handle on it because I was not doing the things I saw as the problem..acting out…taking copious amounts of laxatives, using syrup of ipecac or starving myself. But my life still revolved around food and now, exercise.

I don’t remember at what point I was truly open about all of this with my (now) husband, but he knew it was all there and saw ways it manifested while we were dating. Not all of these ways were unhealthy and the deep ones, the thoughts that plagued me, were kept secret.

After having two kids, I started working as a personal trainer, still in the diet and exercise loop, but now my eating had taken on secretive forms. I started binging. I would buy ice cream, begin fixating on it and could hardly wait to put my toddlers down for naps so I could get my ‘fix’. If they stalled going down for naps, I would get angry because the ‘drip’ had started and I couldn’t wait for the ‘hit’. I wouldn’t even taste the first bowl I ate…I would buy more ice cream at times to replace what I had binged on so Trevor wouldn’t know. I felt shame..it may sound strange to some of you that I would behave that way for food..but it was and is truly an addiction for me.

I was out of control, felt terrible and didn’t know how I was ever going to be able to be an example for my daughter. I came to the realization that a) I still had a problem…a real problem and b) I wasn’t able to fix it myself. So, I joined a program at a church called Celebrate Recovery. It wasn’t a quick fix. It required me being truly transparent with myself (that sucked), with others (that sucked even more) and my addiction (this part was scary, but freeing because it took some of its power over me away) and it took years. Years of digging through the layers and lies, forgiving and taking responsibility, accepting and grieving. Most importantly, I had to let go…of past hurts, ideas, expectations, assumptions and untruths.

Am I healed? No. I think with my food addiction, I will always have to make sure I have tools, accountability and safe people in my life to help me deal with my crap so I don’t cycle in my extremes. Am I better? Yes, so much so. Food is not my God anymore and most days (still working on it) I don’t walk by a mirror and think bad things about myself. I am aware of things I need to express and work through so I don’t binge and I now know my triggers. It is a process and a journey of continually working on accepting myself the way I am and FIGHTING for balance and health in my life and I won’t ever stop. PROGRESS DOES NOT MEAN PERFECTION.

Some people may look at me and think they know me and they may even think I have ‘it’ all together. But, believe me, I don’t…I’m still working 0n ‘it’.  I am human, walking through this life with hurts and scars like we all have.

This is why I desire to help people who struggle with addiction, specifically food and body image struggles.  This is why I am a Health and Fitness Coach. This is why I do what I do.

 

Help is on the Way!!! Two events to help prepare you for Holiday craziness!

what's happening 2

holiday craziness

Wow! So, here it is almost the end of September. The Holidays are quickly approaching!! You know what that means?? Crazy schedules, holiday parties, early nights, gray skies and yummy treats and drinks. This all can blow the best of healthy eating and exercising intentions. I always try to go into the holiday season eating as clean and healthy as I can. I like to fit into those special wintertime outfits. Fall and Winter bring cozy sweaters but it also means I pack away forgiving sundresses and start wearing my jeans again. Usually, my jeans start out fitting but by Thanksgiving they seem to shrink and not be quite as comfortable. Is this you?? Do you (literally) feel my pain? I have a plan this year! Help is on the way to prepare you for Holiday craziness!  During the summer, I took many through a 2 week sugar cleanse. We were able to try new recipes together, get off that all too addicting crack that is sugar and encourage and support each other. I wouldn’t say it was EASY, but it was way more fun having friends in the same ‘boat’ with me!

 

This Fall I am going to be hosting 2 private Facebook group events to help you keep focused on healthy eating goals, staying healthy and having more energy. Sound good? Keep reading!

10 day Whole Foods and Juicing Jumpstart Oct. 4-13, 2015

This will be a great jumpstart into delicious, clean eating along with a CHALLENGE!  We will start out this jumpstart with 4 days of quick and easy home cooked recipes that I will provide for you that help get you (and your family) eating less processed foods and begin to clean out your system of unnecessary toxins that can begin to break down and damage our cells leaving us susceptible to cold viruses and bacteria. These 4 days will prepare us for our 3 day JUICE CLEANSE CHALLENGE!!! Are you excited yet? If you have ever wanted to try a juice only cleanse..this is your chance and time to try it! I will give you:

*the reasons why juice cleansing is so beneficial

*support and answers whether you are blending or juicing

*3 delicious juice recipes

*support and encouragement from myself and the group

*personalized tips to help you successfully accomplish this challenge

After the 3 day challenge is done…I will walk you through adding healthy food back into your diet without overwhelming your system and still staying in control.

The best part of this?? Is that you will feel amazing, powerful, healthy and accomplished! You will have taken on a challenge that many people shy away from and shown yourself that YOU CAN DO IT!!! That is a powerful feeling!!!

And guess what??? If you bring a friend along on this ride with you…you both get 20% off!

Whole Foods and Juicing Jumpstart: Individual $120.00

 

Whole Foods and Juicing Jumpstart: You and a Friend: 20% off for you BOTH! Only $96.00 per person!

This ‘buy now’ will require the payment in full for two participants.

 

After completing this program…you may be left wondering where to go now with your cleaned up diet and cleaned out system…wonder no more…

These group events are independent of each other. You are more than able to do one or the other or both. You will undoubtedly benefit from them individually or combined.

 

WHOLE 30 Warriors  October 18-November 16

My second private Facebook group event is the Whole 30 Warriors group.

This group picks up where the Whole Foods and Juicing Jumpstart ends. If you are not familiar with the Whole 30 plan, it is based off of a book with the same name. Get it, read it and decide if this is something you want to try. The Whole 30 is a very clean way of eating that works on breaking addictive cycles (such as, emotional eating, unconscious eating, sugar, carb and processed food reliance and more) that may have crept into my our lives having many different (and most times, negative) effects. It is a very discipline way of eating that can have its challenges. That’s why I thought we would do this together! If you are familiar with the Whole 30 and have wanted to give it a try, here is the perfect time! You will have daily access to me to help answer your personal questions and challenges as well as personal and group support. In my many few years of challenging myself, I have found that when I have friends for accountability and help, I am more successful.

Imagine, for a minute, going into that hectic, magical and potentially stressful holiday season feeling great and in control of your eating, your health, your energy and your body…this is YOUR year! Commit to making it happen! You deserve it!! Sign up now and reserve your spot!

Whole 30 Warriors: 30 days for $60.00

I will open up both of these groups 2 days before the actual start dates in order to get you your menus and start you prepping for success. I can’t wait to hear your stories of success!

If you have any questions, please email me at darcymonette@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Let’s get JUICED!!

juiceJuicing has been around for years. As a means of fasting and cellular repair. As a seasonal cleanse and as a common cold repellent. It’s only been in the last few years that it has become more popular and main stream. You now see juicing chains like Jamba Juice and other privately owned juice bars sprouting up in cities across the U.S. Years ago, when I first started dating my husband, I was introduced to juicing. I have to admit, I thought he was a bit of an extreme health nut…I mean what 29 year old juices apples and carrots?? But, because I was trying to be open to new things (like dating a Canadian) I tried juicing with him. What you have to understand about me, is that I hate juice. I have never liked the basic apple. orange, grape etc. juices. I tried this apple carrot concoction and gagged. It was terrible. From then on I only drank it with my nose plugged. I did, however, continue to drink it every now and then even when he added celery into the mix.  After we were married, I quit juicing. I decided I had had enough.

About 8 years later, I was reading a book about eating raw foods and it had a green ‘lemonade’ recipe in it and talked abut the benefits of juicing. Again, I thought this was extreme, but decided to try it. This recipe had lettuce, spinach, cucumber, apple and lemon. It was AMAZING! I honestly loved it!! This started my journey into the juicing world. I had a fairly slow start, but it has now become such a big part of my daily routine that I reguarly grocery shop for the ingredients so I always have them on hand. I am energized by the fresh juice, I sleep better, my appetite is more regulated and I stay healthier. I love teaching people about juicing and watching them fall in love with it and incorporate it into their family’s diet.

Have YOU been wondering what this crazy juicing thing is all about? Why do it? How to do it, what’s the difference between juicing and blending and what to use to juice??? Well, here’s your opportunity to find out!! I am teaching a Let’s get JUICED workshop! Sept. 24th 6:30-7:30pm at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church at 1187 Wyatt Way NW, Bainbridge Island, WA. Come and  find out how to get tons of energy, stave off colds and illnesses, fill your body with great nutrients, 3 juicing recipes and much more! I can’t wait to share my passion with you!

There are only 7 more spots left so make sure to sign up now!

Let’s get JUICED! workshop $10.00

 

Summer Craziness

Whew! I thought summer would be way more relaxing and chill. But, here it is August and I haven’t written a blog in weeks and weeks. I hardly feel like I have time to sit and breath. It has truly been craziness around here!

 

With a son involved in North Kitsap Little League, AllStars and the  Bainbridge Island Mavericks Select

Brothers family, 50th anniversary

My family, my brother and his family and my parents. 50th Anniversary of my parents!

Baseball, a super social daughter who is babysitting, having a bagillion sleepovers and is involved in our church’s youth group, a husband who loves to camp and had his 30 year Ferndale, WA high school reunion and my brother’s family of 8 coming out from Good Thunder, MN and stay with us for awhile…I am a bit short tempered, crazy exhausted!

Then there is the picking up of my health coaching business, facilitating a 2 week online sugar cleanse (which was fun and challenging) all while managing pain from my car accident. It all has left me a bit overwhelmed.

However, I am a sun lover and the type of person who really loves being busy and this summer has given me plenty of sun and busy-ness!

I have found time to play too! Here are some things that have helped get me through the past couple of months:

1. Dates with my husband! Now that the kids are a bit older, we can finally go out without the hassle of a babysitter. It’s so important to have things to look forward to and date nights have been that for us!

Date Night with my Honey!

Date Night with my Honey!

2. Girl time! I have a summer birthday. This year I was a bit too busy to plan anything (and usually I plan something big), So, my dear friend, Jillian, took over the job and planned an incredibly fun night/overnighter with all of my girlfriends! From pedis to dinner to scavenger hunts to dares to dancing and a sleepover at a cabin on the Hood Canal it was a full 24 hrs! I’ve also enjoyed many lunches and movie dates with my girlfriends (oh.my.gosh. Ladies, please go see Trainwreck with your girlfriends!!)

dinner at Clearwater Casino

Birthday dinner with the Ladies!

3. Outside time. Mini golf (we are keeping a running score and so far my youngest is in the lead) beach time, walks and baseball games (watching) have kept me outside enjoying this beautiful weather.

Bella Lunas, pizza and salad on the water

Enjoying some outside lunch with my kiddos!

4. Staying on track with my eating. Summers are usually hard for me. Schedules are off, kids are home, its hot out (ice cream calls my name constantly). This summer I have continued juicing and participated (with my whole family) in the 2 week sugar cleanse. This has kept my energy high, my sleeping sound and my clothes fitting. Sounds so silly…but this is a huge one to me as I have struggled with food/sugar addiction my whole life (it seems).

sugar cleanse dinner

Yummy dinner on the sugar cleanse.

All in all it has been a busy, fun and crazy summer, but I am looking forward to the routine and schedule of the Fall!

So, tell me, friends…what have you been up to and what has helped to keep you sane this summer?

Also, I am so excited about the Juicing Jamboree Workshop and Cleanse that I am hosting in September!! More on that to come!!

beet juice

One of my favs! Juicing workshop on its way!

Birth Order

 Birth Order

So, I have spent the last few weeks (maybe longer) pondering the characteristics of birth order. See, here is my dilemma, I was adopted at two and a half weeks old. In my family I was raised with, I am the youngest of two. Recently, I found my birth mom and birth dad. In my birth mom’s family, I would be an only child and in my birth dad’s family, I would be the oldest child. Weird, right? So, I started looking at birth order characteristics. I have never really fit in to many of the youngest characteristics so it was fascinating to learn I had multiple birth order possibilities. Of course, you have to weigh the whole nature vs. nurture thing too.

So, here’s some common characteristics of the oldest, middle, youngest and only child as taken from a Parents.com article titled How Birth Order Shapes Personality.

See if the characteristics match up with your birth order!

Darcy, Bainbridge Island, swimming

Me and my brother swimming at Grandma’s

Oldest

Like taking charge (me), have oodles of confidence (me), adults take them seriously (me), highly motivated to achieve (kinda), perfectionist (me), may avoid trying new things because they might not be perfect (otherwise known as fear of failure…totally me!), have trouble admitting when they are wrong (because we never are!)(me),

Middle

Hardest to label because they play off the first born and tend to do/be opposite of the first born, good negotiators, agreeable, diplomatic, compromising and handle disappointment well. They have realistic expectations and tend to be the most independent. They also tend to gravitate towards friends outside of the family.

Youngest

Carefree (me), easy-going (me), fun-loving (me), affectionate (me), sociable (me) and they like to make people laugh (oh my gosh, ME!) They can be more rebellious (me…I fight this all the time, even as an adult),

Only Children

Self-entertainers and often the most creative of all the birth orders, confident, well spoken, pay enormous attention to detail and tend to do well in school. Many are even more susceptible to perfectionism than firstborns and may have a hard time when things don’t go there way (okay, there is the one thing that makes me relate to being an only child…but I think that could be a youngest child characteristic also)

brother, Poulsbo, siblings

My brother and I taken about 5 years ago in Poulsbo, WA

So, you can see by this that I absolutely fit into the first born and youngest categories but not so much the only child description.

Please tell me where you are in the order and if you can relate to any of these and if it has caused any issues or stumbling blocks in your life…It’s all so fascinating to one who fits in all over the place.

My top 5 PANIC foods

Actually this should be titled ‘Foods I turn to when in a hunger panic’, but that doesn’t sound as good does it! You’ve been there, despite your best intentions and plans, you waited too long to eat, or those Doritos look and smell Ah-mazing! Well, these are my go to foods that I keep on hand! All of these foods were found at the Trader Joe’s and Costco here in Silverdale.

panicfoods

Trader Joe’s Organic Stone Ground Blue Corn Tortilla Chips with sprouted amaranth, quinoa and chia seeds. These are amazing! A lot of crunch, a taste of salt best of all…gluten and GMO free. These, I love.
I, sometimes, eat these plain. Mostly, I eat them dipped in my second ‘panic’ food…Hope Organic Spicy Avocado Hummus from Costco! This stuff is completely out of this world. A slight kick from organic jalapenos and extra satiety from the avocados make this a perfectly satisfying, healthy and YUMMY snack.
Then there are times when you just crave the crunch of a cracker. That’s where Mary’s Gone Crackers come in. I prefer the original flavor but they come in many flavors such as black pepper, super seed, herb, onion and more. These are gluten free, GMO free, whole grain and vegan. The crunch is just so good! I like to top these babies with a little goat cheddar or goat brie. I found these crackers at Costco.
Nuts!!! I really can’t go wrong with nuts. I showcased 50% less salt roasted cashews from Trader Joes in this picture, but I eat many others. When the family is sitting down to a movie with bowls of popcorn, I have a handful of these or pistachios and feel like I just got a treat. However, I have been known to down too many pistachios and have quite a belly ache… so, remember moderation!
Last, but not least, my favorite last minute lunch fix!! I frequently make my own carrot ginger soup and freeze it. But there are many times when I am traveling or haven’t prepared my lunch and go to my pantry to grab some of this, Trader Joe’s Carrot Ginger Soup. It has such similar flavor to my homemade version and the sodium is just slightly higher. This is a great anti-inflammatory soup. They have other ones that I stock up on also such as Butternut Squash, Roasted Red Pepper, Sweet Potato Bisque (yum) and more.
I would love to hear what your ‘panic’ food is that you always stock up on ‘just in case’!

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