What’s more important when it comes to your food? Quality or Quantity?

What’s more important when it comes to your food?  Quality or Quantity?

Keysa Hale, Health Coach
Keysa Hale, Health Coach


You’ve been working hard, dieting, trying to lose weight, but no matter how hard you’ve tried the weight either remains, or comes back with a vengeance.  Listen to my interview with Keysa Hale, a Holistic Health Coach, where we talk about food quality and share some tips not only on how to make healthy eating a little easier, but more efficient and smarter.

And, as promised, links to resources:

Your Guide to Reading Nutrition Labels


Understanding Ingredients on Food Labels

Make a Career Change with Me

Join me on May 16 while I help lead a small group to map out a change in their careers.  If you’re feeling stuck in a job that you hate, or feel like there is more that you can offer to the world, say yes to this class.

Now is the time!

On May 16th you’ll receive your first email challenge and we’ll all check in Thursday evening at 5:30pm EST.  Throughout the course we will use a variety of techniques to help you figure out what is next.

When the class is done, you will take with you a small group of buddies to keep you accountable, as well as a physical piece of paper that will show you what your next steps on your journey will be.

We’ll take your dreams of a career change to reality.

Pay Now- $297 for an incredible 6 week course.

The Escape Room and Resolution Tips

Today is a solo podcast, Nathan is down for the count.  I talk about the Bear Towne Escape Room and give some tips for keeping your goals and resolutions on your mind.

Have a great weekend!

The Bear Towne Escape Room

The Success Principles(TM) – 10th Anniversary Edition: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield

Revive that Resolution: Part 1- Rewrite It

So here we are.  Today is January 25, 2016.  We are 25 days into the new year.  It is the time in January when all of the newness is starting to wear off.  The holidays are over, work and school routines are back to normal.  

I personally love January.  New Year’s Day brings with it a sense of hope, of change, of starting over.  It gives us a metaphorical finish line.  The end of one year, the beginning of the next.  It is a time when massive amounts of people are all feeling motivated together.  This is the year that they are going to quit smoking, lose the weight, fix their relationship, pay off the debt, or organize the closets.  You can almost feel the electricity in the air, the collective motivation and positive thinking of hundreds of thousands of people at the same time.  In January gym memberships rise, DIY books fly off the shelves, and everyone at work brings a salad for lunch.  

But we have a problem.  We have the motivation, the determination, the drive- but most of us have not been taught the tools to create goals and resolutions that are geared toward long-term success.  Do you have a resolution that fizzed out a week ago?  Or are you still working on it, but kind of half-heartedly?  Do you find yourself feeling guilty, beating yourself up, or getting frustrated because you keep “slipping up?”

I have a secret.  It’s not because you’re not motivated enough.  It’s not because you don’t care.  It’s not because there is something wrong with you.  You just need to tweak your resolution a bit and get into the mindset of long-term change.

Here’s a few things you can do to revive that withering resolution.

For the following tips, I’m going to use, as an example, a very common resolution I hear- “I’m going to lose 30 pounds.”  

First things first, write it down.  This is absolutely crucial.  Way too often we find ourselves making a promise at the new year and we shout it into the air or promise ourselves quietly that this time we mean it.  But we never write it down.  Why?  We think that it’s so important to us that we don’t need to write it down.  But, I’m telling you that’s wrong.  You need to write it down.  In fact, go get a 3×5 index card or a piece of paper and a pen right now.  Write down your goal.  Do it, I’ll wait.  I mean it.  Done?  Ok, now we are going to rework it a bit with our SMART acronym.


  • Make it Specific.  Who says our goal has to be a one-liner?  Who told you that you can only use 5 words when stating your resolution?  Let’s get crafty here and give it a lot of detail.  Our sample goal, “I’m going to lose 30 pounds” is a good start.  It has a number, 30, but we can add some more details to this.  How much do you weigh right now?  165?  Great.  Why do you want to lose 30 pounds?  To look great for your friend’s wedding?  To get your blood pressure down?  To fit in those expensive jeans you bought?  To be a good role model for your daughter?  What is your reason for the weight loss?

    If your goal is about creating a habit, like “eating healthier”  what does that look like?  Are you following a paleo diet?  Are you eliminating some foods?  Are you eating less calories?  

  • Make it Measurable.  Our example above is fairly easy to measure as long as we know what weight we started at and then subtract 30.  A different goal like “quit smoking” is harder to quantify, but you need to put in the time to do so.  What will it look like when you have quit?  How will I know you have quit?  How many days or weeks will have passed without a nicotine product?  Does that include the patch or gum?

  • Make it Achievable.  If you are 165 pounds and your goal is to lose 30 pounds, that is an achievable goal.  At the end you would weigh 135 pounds and depending on your height and bone structure that is probably achievable at some point.  However, if you are 6 feet tall and you currently weigh 135 pounds, then a 30 pound weight loss is probably not achievable (or safe!).  When you are writing your goal, make sure it is something that you and your body are capable of.  I don’t mean don’t challenge yourself.  By all means, if becoming a black belt is your goal, go for it.  Just know that there are certain restrictions on how quickly you can test for some of the belts.  To say you want to be a black belt this year if you have just started is not achievable.

  • Make it Realistic.  You’ve determined that it’s physically possible to lose 30 pounds, but to plan on losing it in a month is not realistic.  There will be commercials for detox and weight loss programs that will tell you otherwise, but they are pushing you to rush.  If you read any reputable article or book on weight loss, they will tell you that slow weight loss is healthier.  It means that you are picking up specific tools and habits and that will help you have long-lasting results.  You might see some pounds drop off if you starve yourself or follow some lemon water and hot sauce detox program, but that is not sustainable.  Make your goal realistic.  1 pound a week is realistic.  2 pounds a week could be realistic if you’re working hard.

  • Make it Time-specific.  If you plan on losing 1 pound a week until you have lost 30 pounds, that is 30 weeks.  That is 7.5 months.  If you plan on pushing yourself hard to reach your goal, that is just under 4 months away.  So take today’s date and count out 4 months.  If today is January 24, then 4 months from now is May 24.  


  • Finally, how are you going to do it?  Are you going to stop eating dessert, replace soda with water, exercise three times a week, join a karate team?  


Now that we have laid out the details we can take all of that information and we rewrite our goal.  


Goal before:

“I’m going to lose 30 pounds.”


Goal after:

“I am going to lose 30 pounds because that should put me into that size 8 dress that I bought for my friend’s wedding in June and I want to feel sexy and gorgeous.  On May 24, 2016 at 5pm when I step on the scale, it will read 135 pounds or less.  In order to do this I am going to add fruits or vegetables to every meal, limit my alcoholic beverages to one time a week, and do a yoga workout at my favorite yoga studio three times a week.  When I have the chance to walk around the block with my husband I will do that.  When I am having a difficult week I will call my best friend to talk to her about it.  For work I will pack a lunch every day and I will make tea instead of my usual 2pm soda.  I will weigh myself one time a week and write it down in my journal to assess if I am on track.”


Go ahead and rewrite your goal on your card or your piece of paper.  Go.  Do it right now.  If you are serious about it, you will write it down.  


You are not done yet, there is one more important tip!  And this is really, really important!  Put that piece of paper or that 3×5 card somewhere that you will see it every single day.  Put it on your bathroom mirror or in front of the toilet or in the shower.  Put it on your ceiling above your bed or on your nightstand.  Put it where you can see it and every time you see it, read it.  This will make a major difference.  If you really want to make changes, you will follow this advice.  Don’t be shy about it.  


Now that your resolution has been rewritten and passes the SMART goal test, stay posted for my next post that will help you put some life, motivation, and excitement back into it.

Back to Basics for the New Year

You wander from room to room
hunting for the diamond necklace
that is already around your neck.

by Rumi


Every New Year I begin to look forward to all of the exciting things that I am going to challenge myself to do.  In previous years I have quit drinking, done Paleo Whole30 challenges, lost weight, trained for a half-marathon, and various other hard-core, high-intensity challenges.  I generally would find a mountain to hike on the morning of the New Year and look out onto the islands thinking about all that I would conquer in the near future.

This year feels a little different.  I’ve moved into a slower-paced, more introverted town.  I’ve not taken the time to make a lot of connections here.  I’ve spent a lot of time in the yard with my dogs or crafting something in my living room.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking, worrying, planning.

This new year I think all I want to do is get back to the basics.  I have been avoiding starting a new life in a new place.  And I’m not saying I’m making a resolution to become a social butterfly in 2016.  I really mean the basics.

I want to get back into meditation when I wake up in the morning.  I am going to finish my meditation bench for myself before 2016, since trying to meditate on the couch in the sunroom in the morning is akin to going from one bed to another.  I fall right asleep.

1210150653I am going to plan meals ahead of time.  I am going to avoid gluteny cookies and crackers and bread because I think they are contributing to my never ending rash that appears and re-appears on my legs.  So, I am going to plan dinners ahead, task Nathan to completing some of them, and take leftovers for lunches.  My health is dependent on it.

I am going to continue to walk with my buddy, Maria on Thursdays and start walking on my own or with Nathan at least 2 other days.  I am not going to hurt myself by trying to run right away.  And I’ve got my jump-rope now, which I love.  I’ve been doing tabatas with a variety of moves intermingles with jump roping.

I am going to visit Asheville and Colorado Springs and make a more researched decision before we move again.

Basically, I’m going to get back to the things that I already know work.  I’m not going to try to lose 30 pounds or eat totally Paleo or join a buddhist temple.  I’m just going to ease back in and take care of myself.


What are you planning for this new year?


2016- The Year of Connection

Missing Hawaii

It is midway through December. The Christmas tree is up, and that combined with the smell of pine and fallen leaves outside the house has me in a nostalgic mood.  It has me thinking about the past year.  God, so much has changed.  This time last year, I lived in Kailua, the most gorgeous place on the planet.  I dare you to tell me different.  I lived a mile away from a beautiful beach.  My best friends lived in walking distance from me.  On a Saturday morning I had a dozen people I could call at the drop of a hat to invite to a last minute hike or walk on the beach.  I knew my neighbors, and I had healthy, active people surrounding me.  I could walk to Crossfit and my work was a mere 15 minutes away.

Why then does it feel so right that I’ve moved to this out of the way place, where we are surrounded by squirrels, deer, bugs and birds?  Where Walmart is the best option for produce?  Where the beach (which in no way compares to Kailua) is a half hour drive away?  Where we are afraid to let our dogs run loose because they might get eaten by alligators or snatched up by large predatory birds?

One major answer is family.  I am missing my best friends like hell, and I am going to have to figure out how to visit soon, but now I feel like I live on the same planet as my family.  When I call them in the morning, it is also morning for them.  I don’t get the news 6 hours later than they do.  I saw my family and Nathan’s family in July.  Then I drove to New York for Thanksgiving.  Twice.  I am going to see

them again over the Christmas break.  I think Nathan said it most eloquently when we spoke of it in the car the other night.  He said, “This last time we drove away from the house, I was sad, because I would miss them, but I wasn’t thinking Is this the last time I am going to see them?”

How shitty is that question?  This is why I moved from Hawaii.  If someone in my family gets sick, or a family member gets married, or a family member has a baby, those things matter to me.  And living in Hawaii, you start to question whether you can afford to go see them.  That’s screwed up.  My mother-in-law had a liver transplant.  My sister-in-law gave her half of her own liver.  That’s freaking amazing.  And when we got married, they couldn’t come to Hawaii, because traveling when you’ve gotten a liver transplant is pretty freaking difficult, especially at first.  That sucked.  Big time.

Living so close feels amazing.  I feel like I am getting to know them again.  And it’s not like I didn’t talk to my siblings or my parents.  We kept and still do keep up a pretty good conversation via facebook

Seeing Family is Priceless

and email and I was able to have Skype conversations with them on most of the holidays over the years.

Seeing Family Is Priceless
Seeing Family Is Priceless

But, let’s be honest.  It’s not the same.  It’s not the same as trying to sleep on the top bunk at your parents’ house when your oldest sister is sleeping on the bottom bunk and you’ve got years of catching up to do.  It’s not the same as being able to clear your crap out of your parents’ house for them.  It’s not the same as having a cup of coffee with them across the island in the kitchen or building a bonfire or playing Pandemic or talking about the Dragonriders of Pern books or simply being in their presence.  It’s not the same as spending time with your nieces and nephews and the dogs.  And it’s definitely not the same as being able to give them a hug.

Seeing Family is Priceless

I feel like I missed a lot over the years, but at the same time, I grew up in Hawaii.  I became a big girl there.  I learned how to be a kind, loving, healthy, individual.  I learned how to love myself and I found friends there that became my family.
So how, in 2016 do I find what I had in Hawaii (not the beaches, but the friends and the lifestyle) and stay close to my family?  How do I find that connection somewhere close enough to New York?

I haven’t found the answer yet.  My husband and I are looking for employment possibly near Asheville, NC or in Colorado.  I need to find a group of people who are interested in health and wellness like I am.  We need to find a place that doesn’t have an undercurrent of discrimination.  And I need a place to be able to hike and work out, but this place can’t cost as much as Hawaii did.  I refuse to be a slave to the price of a plane ticket home.
Any ideas?  Comment below!  Where do you think the best place to live is?


Missing my Hawaii Family
Missing my Hawaii Family

Podcast 2- Our $10,000 Dog

Nathan and I had such an awesome day today!  The weather in NC is unseasonable warm, so we took advantage by taking the dogs to Flanner’s Beach on the Neuse River.  Check out the pics below and take a few minutes to listen to our second podcast!

Anna’s Blog: Feeding Our Inner Traveler

Pet Insurance: 24 PetWatch

Neuse River Pics:


Beautiful Day in NC!

1212150941      The dogs loved the water today!1212150942








First Ever Podcast (Explicit- some vulgar language)



First Ever Podcast!!


This is super exciting for me.  Nathan and I have been talking about recording a podcast for an awfully long time.  I finally got the equipment up and running.  Bear with us, I had to go back and increase Nathan’s volume, but I think it came out pretty great.  Also, we couldn’t help it, we both cursed.  Maybe don’t listen with your kids.

We basically just are introducing ourselves, talking to Anna, my sister who is travelling, and discussing the gun and knife show in Greenville that we will probably go to tomorrow.  Nothing spectacular.  We are going to schedule these in once a week.  Also, Nathan’s laugh is infectious.

Edit: I should also add that Nathan and I are not actually going to buy up tons of guns from the gun show.  We were joking.  The recent events and the tragedies going down in the US these days are out of control.  We don’t plan on being a part of the problem.

Let us know what you think!


The World Needs Healing

Whenever a tragedy happens somewhere on the planet, I become torn in so many directions.  Generally Facebook or the Daily Show are my only sources of news these days.  I have stopped watching the news in the morning because I refuse to start my day with shootings and fatal car accidents and bombings.  Sometimes I’ll watch the local news in the evenings to figure out what kinds of activities are happening nearby, but that half hour segment is usually rife with devastation.  Is that the only kind of news that exists?  No, but it’s the only kind that gets ratings, so it’s what is played.

Shows like The View, anything on Fox News and even the Morning news shows are so opinionated and generated to appease the viewers, actually give me a physical response.  The other day at the car shop the TV was set to The View and curiously I listened in for a minute.  I couldn’t help myself, but roll my eyes and shake my head to the nonsense that they were discussing.

I keep asking myself “why.”  Why are we talking about red cups instead of poverty?  Why are we only talking about Lions being killed in Africa when Foxes are endangered right here in the US?  In fact, there’s 16,306 animals on the Endangered List.  That’s not including the Threatened level species.  There are hundreds of species of animals nearby my current location threatened by the number of fast food cups that appear on the side of my road daily.

Why do we share what we do on social media?  What is the criteria by which you select the stories to share?  When the stories about Paris appeared on my news feed last night, I was deeply saddened.  The number of people killed was at 127 last time I looked.

This is tragic, yes.  But what is it about Paris that makes us change our profile pictures to the French flag?  Or send our thoughts and prayers to those souls in those attacks?  What is it about a school shooting or a child’s death that puts those on the trending list on my home page?

A quick search on Wikipedia puts the death toll of the ebola outbreak at more than 10,000.  What happened to our terror at the outbreak?  It was exciting for a little while, maybe it was fun to be scared of it, but now it’s old news.

So before I respond to a tragedy like the seeming coordinated attacks in Paris, I ask myself “why.”  Why am I posting this update?  Who is going to read it?  If I type “My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Paris” what is my purpose?  Do I think Paris is reading it and will be thankful?  Am I putting out good energy into the world?  Am I just joining in to the conversation to feel like I am a part of something bigger?  Why?

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  All energy you put into the universe goes somewhere.  When you add your voice to the love, there is a build up of energy.  And when you add your voice of hatred, blaming Muslims for the violence, your energy builds up there.  Who do you want to read your post?  What do you want them to think or do or say?  What is your purpose for the words you put out there?

What does Fox News want us to think or do or say when they play a constant stream of “news” asking whether or not Isis is gaining any momentum or traction from this attack?  Just for kicks I just logged onto Fox News Live Stream and it was playing exactly that.  I always get the feeling that the why behind their stories is to tell me that I should live in terror and that “we” should attack all the scary people out there.

So while I am deeply saddened by the horrific events in Paris, today I don’t just pray for Paris.  I pray for the world.  I pray that this event won’t widen the divide.  I pray for us.  I pray that you stop using the word “they” when you talk about the tragedy.  It is not “them” vs “us.”  There is only us.  What we put into this world comes back to us and this whole world needs healing.  More violence is not my answer.  I hope it is not yours.

I am going to take this particular incident as a reminder to spend my day sending out love, helping others, being a part of the solution.  Picking up fast food containers from my street.  Recycling the plastic we use.  Waving hello to strangers in my town.  Giving a hand to someone who has fallen or dropped something.  This is where it starts.  Peace begins in your own home, in your own town.

Let’s all be a part of the solution.

Veterans Day

November is a month that is geared towards gratitude.  Two of my favorite holidays happen during this month- Veterans Day and Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is obvious, and it is well shared about.  Veterans Day, on the other hand, seems to be a day that is given very little attention.

In the morning on holidays like Veteran’s Day there will be a multitude of sharings on social media, thanking our military members for their service.  This is wonderful and at the same time it often seems like an afterthought.  A quick nod for the day you got to take off of work perhaps.

But Veteran’s Day is a day of true appreciation.  After several years of working with military members and their families, I have a much deeper understanding of how important this day is.  The sacrifices that our military members make whether they are sent off to a war zone or work a desk job on a local base are deeper than most of us know.

Veterans Day celebrates our military members and coincides with Armistice Day- “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace” – President Woodrow Wilson.

To me, this is a day to celebrate the freedoms that we enjoy every day.  Freedom of Speech, Religion, Assembly, to Bear Arms, to own property, to live or travel anywhere, to work at any job, to marry and raise a family, to education, to participate in politics, to equal justice, to wear what you want, to make your own choices in your life, to complain about plain red cups, to post naked pictures of yourself on the internet.  You get to make those choices on your own.

I am grateful that I do not have to cover my face and body when I leave the house.

I am grateful that I could live in New York, Hawaii and North Carolina.  I am grateful that I can move if I want.

I am grateful that I can be friends with whoever I want.

I am grateful that I listen to the music I want.

I am grateful that I could marry who I wanted.

I am grateful for both fast food and farmer’s markets.

I am grateful for being able to vote.

I am grateful for clean, running water.

I am grateful for our police force, our military, our EMTs, our ability to cure so many diseases, and science.

I am grateful that I can believe whatever I want.

This is a short list.  When I picture myself living in a third world country or a country where women’s rights are non-existent, the list of gratitudes becomes extensive.

eagle with flag overlay

What freedoms are you grateful for?