Back to Reality

My husband and I just got back from from Vegas. We had a destination wedding there 5 years ago and visit a couple of times a year. One of our favorite things to do there is to visit the restaurants. I’ve been thinking about how our trips have changed as I have changed.


 Our wedding 8/2013

Our first trip to Vegas, we were still eating a standard American diet. I ate ALL THE THINGS that first trip. Actually, the first several trips were like that. I remember having to buy bottles of Pepto because I would feel like crap pretty much the entire trip, from all the junk I would eat. We weren’t going to fast food places, either. We were going to nice restaurants. So much bread, dairy, and sugar!!

The past couple of trips have been after we became primal. There were a couple of meals on this trip that I had that were almost 100% primal and I felt good afterwards. But every single time I ate off-plan, I felt like crap within about 30 minutes. Sad to say, but I barely ate any vegetables, while we were there. I had dessert most days, splitting something decadent with my husband.

I was so happy to return home after this trip so that I could get back to my normal routine. At the airport, at 5 am (!!) I got an acai bowl for breakfast. That was paleo, albeit high in sugar; at least it wasn’t refined.  After every trip, in a day or two after returning, it’s a struggle for me and the Sugar Dragon will hit hard. It always does after a period of off-plan eating. And it takes all of my willpower to not succumb to temptation.

Every once in awhile I think it is good to eat off-plan. It’s good for a hormetic response, one that shocks the body systems into working to make you better; a kind of reset, or jolt to the system, if you will.

I definitely feel like I went a little more crazy than I would have liked this trip, mainly because I didn’t feel good during the trip and that was kind of a black cloud hanging over me. I could have made better choices but I didn’t. I definitely made better choices than I would have in the past. But the main takeaway is to have grace with yourself and to enjoy life.

During brunch one day at Mon Ami Gabi at Paris (one of my favorites!), I got the quiche Lorraine and my husband got a veggie, potato, and sausage skillet and then we shared some decadent bananas foster waffles. In the past, I would have ordered that and eaten the entire thing myself. This time, while it did taste amazing, I was actually satisfied after just a few bites.

I try to not be too legalistic about what I eat. Sometimes I struggle with that, especially when I first became primal. I have a slightly easier time allowing myself some grace if I do want to eat off-plan. But I definitely do not find it as enjoyable as I once did. I used to live for our meals in Vegas and would eat whatever I wanted. But now I have realized that the seared tuna and brussel sprouts at a five star restaurant are still just as amazing as anything else there. I even ate broccolini for the first time ever!!!! Now for those who know me, I have a strong hatred for actual broccoli (that’s a story for another time). So trying this was a HUGE step. A friend ordered it and I tried some. So good. Another meal, we got sushi with some roasted brussel sprouts which were also amazing!!!

I am learning that I don’t have to sacrifice amazing food at the expenses of my physical well-being. I need to remember that how I feel when I eat off-plan versus when I stick to primal foods and make a more concerted effort to make better choices, and not want to eat all the junk food.

Another point is this: changing one’s lifestyle is difficult. It is a process that happens over time, not in the blink of an eye. As time goes on, I learn more about myself and work hard to align my actions with my healthy lifestyle values.

Just some random thoughts on a plane ride back to reality.




Body image and Self-talk

Summer is here, ladies!!

Let’s hang out at the pool!!

Grab your swimsuit and meet at my place!!

Wait —


I need to be seen in public in my swimsuit?!

I am so not ready for this!!

I meant to work on my beach body this past winter and spring.

But you know….

Tacos, cookies, and cakes, oh my!!!

Pink swimsuit with beach accessories on blue background

It’s that time of year again. Maybe you are ready to go and feel super confident in your body. And that is amazing! You should be! But if you are like me and most women, we feel very self conscious and super exposed when it comes to parading around in a swimsuit, especially in front of other people.

When I am with friends, I don’t mind – I know what they think about me and am super comfortable with them. But when I am around strangers, no matter what the setting is – public speaking, walking, at the pool – I DON’T know what they think of me and my self-consciousness skyrockets.

Our culture celebrates the thin body as the ultimate ideal. We are bombarded by visual images on the covers of magazines, television shows, that perfect Instagrammer you follow, Pinterest…

But, if we could just reframe our focus and celebrate our bodies…

We have been created by our Divine Father. The human body is a marvel. It’s complexity is truly unfathomable.

Maybe you have stretch marks. Your body created and birthed another human being!! Celebrate that!

Maybe you are carrying more weight than you’d like right now because you have been working too much. You are contributing to society and helping out others, doing an important job. Celebrate that!

Maybe you have more wrinkles than you’d prefer. You’ve led a long life and experienced things! Celebrate that!

Maybe you have an illness that has prevented you from being at your ideal weight. Your body is working hard for you. Pamper it!

Very few women will probably ever be completely satisfied with how their bodies look. I see the areas that I hate when I look in the mirror. So I have to remind myself that my body is beautiful the way it is. I am almost 40 (!!!!!!) and realistically, my body will look very different from the way a 20-year-old’s will look.

But, then I think what my body has done for me. I have been blessed to have had a healthy life and switching to a primal lifestyle about 2 years ago now, I will be much healthier for the rest of it. This body I have has helped me to try and make this world a better place through my time as a special ed teacher and now as a health coach. This body helps to teach my girls how to be healthy. This body can do so much more in terms of working out than I ever thought I could do.

I should celebrate it and be grateful for it. Everyday. And enjoy the time I have while I am “young”. Because someday I will be too old to go enjoy an afternoon by the pool. I don’t want to regret little things like that.

I have two girls, 12 and 10. How I act and talk about my body, especially in front of them, is CRITICAL to how they will form their own body image.

We should not be ashamed of our bodies. We should celebrate them! Now, this is not to say that we shouldn’t take care of them. We absolutely should! We need to do the best we can to honor our bodies and take care of them in the best way we can. But while we are on that journey we shouldn’t hide away.


Buddha said “What we think, we become.” (I found that online – who knows if he actually said that. Regardless, it’s a good quote.) If we are constantly talking crap to ourselves, we will manifest it and exude that vibe. It can slowly take over our whole mindset, like a cancer, infecting our whole being.

The converse is true. If we start by focusing on what we DO like about our bodies, that positive body image will take over and will spread to other parts and we will learn to see the beauty there as well.

Beautiful young woman checking her face in a mirror.

Spend some time looking in the mirror and looking at yourself closely. Again, your body might not look the way you want. But look closer – there are some amazing parts.

Your feet take you to work everyday to provide for your family. They are beautiful.

Your hands make food for your family. They are beautiful.

(Insert body part) does something amazing for yourself, your family, or others. It is beautiful.

We all know people who give off positive self-confidence vibes and those who give off negative ones and who we would rather be around. Aim for that positivity in your own life.

A great exercise is to sit down and actually write out a couple of things that you love about your body. Post it somewhere that you can see everyday, such as on your bathroom mirror. Be grateful everyday for the body you have and celebrate it.

You only get one.