Looking Back and Looking Forward

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I was looking at some of my first blog posts this morning and noticing how much I’ve grown in the last almost 2 years.  I really lack consistency when it comes to writing on a regular schedule, but I try to be honest and transparent when I do write.

This is my second year eating Juice Plus and I am so thankful that I started back in April of 2016.  This is the second flu season that my family has avoided getting the flu!  That is worth it in itself, especially this year with the flu reaching almost epidemic status.  I have also been able to help several other people improve their health in the last two years and that makes me really happy!  Oh, yeah, I almost forgot!  Juice Plus added a new product in 2017 as well!  We now have Omegas!  They are completely plant based and no more fishy taste!  Thank God for that!

I am having a great time with my tower gardens.  I purchased a second tower garden this fall and had both of them going inside for the last several months.  I grew an amazing bunch of romaine lettuce and rainbow chard and now I’m growing some fancy lettuce and strawberries.  I will admit, growing strawberries indoors is a challenge, and one I may be giving up soon.  The fact is I love growing things, but I don’t always have time to attend to the flowering plants like you have to when you grow indoors.  First, you need more than just the regular lights to grow flowering plants indoors.  Some people say they have grown flowering plants just fine without the red and blue lights, but you do have to pollinate if you grow indoors.  This is the part I really don’t do well at.  With my lettuce, I look at it every day, pick what I want and it just keeps growing.  When it comes to strawberries, I check them, take a paintbrush and brush inside all of the blooms that I see, hoping that it will pollinate everything and I will end up with strawberries.  Sometimes I miss a blossom or two.  This is really a little more than I want to have to think about.  They will probably do great outside!

I am looking forward to doing some new things this year!  Starting in March I am going to open my home once a week to share what I’m learning about taking my own health back and growing my own veggies in my tower garden.  We will have healthy snacks, beverages and lots of fun!   I also hope to start having Tower Garden workshops in the local area.  Check my Facebook page to see when that will start and and I will also share anytime I will be out and about with my tower garden.

2017 was filled with a lot of distractions, but I learned a lot at the same time.  I love growing things, all kinds of things, and my dream to have my own tower farm is even stronger than ever.  My hope is that I will be able to have a tower farm inside a greenhouse where I can grow and share vegetables year round.  I plan to use the veggies that I grow to teach young people in our area to grow and cook their own food.  I have seen so much in the last year, I am more and more convinced that young people need community in their lives to give them support, encouragement and the right kind of love.   There are so many ways we can make a difference in someone’s life, I hope to use the things I know to do just that.




Why I say “NO” to New Year’s Resolutions

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I wrote an article for a newsletter a week or so ago about how I feel about New Year’s resolutions.

Year’s ago, when I was still in the frame of mind that I was never good enough and I had to constantly be changing myself, I signed up for New Year’s resolutions every January.  There was (and is) always something I could be improving on.  I have always been my worst critic, even if I have projected it on others in the past.  The problem was that I rarely ever carried out the resolutions, and if I did it was always a temporary fix.

To me, New Year’s resolutions are like diets.  They are a temporary solution to a long term problem.  Most of the time, the resolutions are very valid and admirable.  Whether you want to lose weight, eat healthier, stop yelling so much, spend less or whatever else you might consider quitting or changing, all of these things need to be addressed on a more permanent basis.  For some, a New Year’s resolution may help them form new habits that will last a lifetime, but my experience has not been that positive.  Most of the time, my resolutions have fallen by the wayside before February even rolls around, and I think I know why.  New Year’s resolutions are not set up to succeed.

You may be wondering what I mean by resolutions being set up to fail.  First, most people look at resolutions as temporary.  They almost expect them to drop off after about February, some make it through March and a few really persistent people make it even longer.  The truth is that few people really expect to finish, it’s almost become kind of a joke.    Second, many people chose the most difficult things to do as their New Year’s resolutions: quit smoking, lose 50 lbs., save $1000.00.   To succeed at any of those things, it would require serious changes in many areas of a persons life.  These are not simple one-off changes.

I don’t want you to think that I never try to improve myself, I continually try to improve, I just don’t use January first as a springboard.  For me, every day is a new day to improve and start over and do better.  This week I am doing a partial fast, because I have not been taking care of myself the way I need to.  It isn’t something I’m going to do for a whole year, just until I reset my body back to my good habits.  I am also doing more along the lines of exercising.  This is something I hope to make a permanent habit.  I usually do pretty well, I go to Zumba twice a week most of the time and it’s easy for me to do that because I love it. (By the way, if you are local you should stop in and check out one of our Zumba classes at Mount Vernon Baptist Church on Mountain Valley road.) What I don’t love is going to the gym.  It is also very difficult for me to exercise at home in the morning before work, because I get up at 4:30 am already and I’m just not willing to get up earlier than that at this point.  However, I know I need to find something to do during the day, because my job requires me to sit most of the day and I can’t take that anymore.

What I would encourage everyone to do is find one thing they believe they can actually change permanently and work on that one thing.  Don’t do it because its January 1, do it because you want to make the change and you know it will be good for you.  If you don’t make it in January, start again in February and every month after that until it works for you.  Don’t let New Year’s resolutions steal your joy and cause you more stress.  Just do what you can and keep pushing past what you can until you can do more!


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I can’t believe how long it’s been since I added a post.  I have been so busy that I just haven’t had much time for writing lately.  Since my last post I have put my hops outside to hibernate for the winter, started up my tower garden indoors with lettuce and arugula, bought a second tower garden, had Thanksgiving, went to New York for Christmas, and harvested lettuce off my tower garden twice.  So that kind of explains why I haven’t been writing much lately.

The truth is, I’ve been really enjoying growing indoors in my tower garden.

My dream is to have a tower farm someday.  That pretty much means that I want to have a greenhouse and a bunch of tower gardens growing all kinds of vegetables and fruits! I really want to be able to teach kids about growing their own food and even teach them how to cook.  It seems like a lot of children today don’t know how to cook and have never even tried a lot of vegetables.

For now, I’m growing my lettuce, rainbow chard, arugula and attempting to grow some Valerian and Basil.  The lettuce and chard are doing the best so far, but the others are growing, just not quite at the same pace as the lettuce.  I’m learning how to keep the pH adjusted and when I need to add water and minerals.  It was awesome leaving for a week and not having to worry about my plants, they are so self sufficient!

I am loving my tower gardens and they are so relaxing too.  I have the lights set on a timer so they come on in the morning and go off in the evening.  Even though the towers are in two of the bedrooms in my house, the glow can be seen down the hall as well.  They sound like fountains when they are running and growing greens in the house is great for your air quality as well.

I will try to write more often and share what I am doing.  No New Year’s resolutions for me this year, but I will be sharing what I am doing instead in my next post!

Happy New Year!


Finishing Things

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I was reading through some of my previous posts today and realized that I start off really good with things, but eventually I get bored or think people aren’t interested, or get busy and I just don’t really finish well…or at all.

For instance,  I was going to try a new recipe every week from our Revolution cookbook, which basically has a lot of clean recipes in it.  I did four recipes and that was it.  I really don’t cook very much anymore, since my oldest son has moved out and my youngest works at a seafood restaurant.  When there is only two people to cook for, you tend to cook a lot less, or have a lot more leftovers.  Either way, I didn’t do very many recipes and I didn’t finish what I set out to do.

The other problem is that I need a personal photographer.  Someone who can follow me around while I’m doing things and take pictures for me to share later.  When I am cooking I usually make a mess and don’t want to stop and wash my hands a dozen times to take pictures of everything.  I could just write about all the food I fix, but pictures are nice to have, too.  It takes a lot of discipline for me to take pictures while I’m doing things, I’m just not a selfie kind of gal.

The biggest truth is that I try to do too much all at the same time and I end up not being able to finish anything.  I have been spending a lot of time experimenting with growing hops in my tower garden and that has taken up a lot of my extra time (like I have any of that).  It is fun and I really love growing things, so it has been easy to get caught up in that and forget about everything else.  Maybe it’s ok to just do the things we love and not really stress out about some of the other things that may just be distractions anyway.

The bottom line is that I have trouble finishing things.  If you look around my house you can see that for yourself.  I have a basket of folded laundry sitting in the living room waiting to be put away.  I have clean dishes in the drainer and dirty dishes in the sink.  I empty the drainer, only to fill it again and before you know it the sink is full again, too.  My office has books, papers and receipts on the table, waiting to be filed and my basement bathroom still has plastic hanging from when we put down the new floor last week.  When you get too many things going at one time, it makes it very difficult to finish anything.

I’ve decided that my goal for this week is to make a list and check things off when I finish them, and my hope is that I will finish everything on my list.  Maybe that is my problem, I haven’t been making lists lately.  What do you do that helps you finish things?  Drop me a comment and share your ideas!



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Have you ever started reading a blog post and then after about a minute you get this popup asking you to sign up for a newsletter?  Or maybe you’re scrolling down through a long drawn out blog post to get to a recipe and suddenly there are ads in the way of everything?  It’s all coming a little clearer to me.

I often wondered how bloggers got paid.  I may be wrong, but I’m beginning to think that bloggers get paid by putting ads on their blogs and the more clicks they get and sales they direct to those companies, the more they get paid.  I just can’t!

I promise, if you come to my site, you will only find information, hopefully a good story, and an occasional shameless plug for my own business, but NO ADS.

I find it very frustrating when I am looking up a recipe and have to spend more time clicking off ads than I do reading the recipe.  I don’t look up recipes to buy all the things that may be of interest, I look them up because I want to cook them.  Crazy, I know.


So, if you are an over 50 (or even hovering around 50) woman who wants to learn more about building muscle instead of losing muscle, or how to lose weight and keep it off, or how to heal without expensive prescriptions….stick around, because that’s what you’ll find here.  If I find something that works, I’ll share a link for you to check it out.  And I am always trying new and different things so I have information to share.

Today I was reading about dementia and brain health and came across some really good information.  Blueberries, which are ranked as one of the highest antioxidant foods in the world, have anthocyanins (which is just a fancy word for natural pigment).  These natural pigments enhance cerebral circulation and promote communication between neurons in the brain.  Therefore, blueberries are really good for brain health.  I personally eat blueberries nearly every day.  I also take a plant based Omega supplement which is also very helpful with brain health.  You need good fats for your brain to function properly.

(Insert shameless plug for my business)

By the way, if you do want to subscribe to my newsletter, which is actually just my blog posts as they come out, you can click on the link that is on this page.  Trust me, you won’t get spammed with my posts, I am working really hard on getting at least one new one out each week.  In the meantime, have a great day and eat some blueberries!


Almost 50 and healthier than ever!

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Five years ago, when I was getting close to turning forty-five, I was beginning to think that a life of pain was what I could expect as I aged. I would not have told you that I was healthier than ever; in fact, I probably would have told you that I was pretty discouraged about my health situation.

I have always been extremely active.  I played every sport offered to girls when I was in school, and played backyard sports with the boys.  I rode my bike, delivered papers, cut grass and just pretty much stayed moving most of the time.  As I got older, I chose occupations that kept me moving as well.  During my late teens I delivered pizzas and later on worked at a coffee shop.  Eventually I started working in the construction field which kept me on my feet and walking A LOT.  Then I settled into a job working in a factory that kept me in shape physically, just because it was so demanding.  I am still working in that factory, but have been promoted into a position that requires me to sit…almost all of the time.

It has only been around five years that I have been in a position that requires me to sit all the time, but I have noticed the difference in how it makes me feel.  Even before the promotion I noticed my joints hurting most of the time.  After the promotion, I experienced severe sciatica pain for over a year at one time.  After spending a year in pain, I decided I was going to have to do something, there was no way I wanted to live like that for the rest of my life.

I decided to try changing my diet.  I already enjoyed mostly healthy food, but when my kids and step kids were young I had gotten into a pretty bad habit of eating the same foods as they liked.  As you can imagine, that wasn’t the best habit to get into.  I was also eating fast food more often than I liked.  I started reading and studying about the Mediterranean diet and trying to put some of that into practice.

I also decided to go back to school to become a certified health coach.  That was one of the most eye opening experiences of my life.  I had already pretty much cut out all junk food, or at least I thought I had, and I learned so much about the foods that we eat and how important daily exercise is.

I also started going to a Zumba class around the same time I started my classes for health coaching.  I was really nervous at first, no one ever accused me of being coordinated when it comes to dancing.  I fell in love with Zumba.  No one judges you or expects you to be able to do any more than you can.  It is great exercise and so much fun that you don’t even realize you’re working out.

One of the best ways to stay in shape as you get older is just to stay active.  The worst thing you can do as you get older is to just accept the fact that you’re getting older and not bother with taking care of yourself anymore.  Find something you enjoy doing, and do it!  My husband and I go hiking, take out our kayak or canoe, and look for new things to try all the time.  It has to be fun or you won’t stick to it.

Laugh!  If you can’t find something to laugh about, keep looking.  There is nothing that makes you feel better, younger and just lifts you up more than a good laugh.  The more you can laugh, the better.  I have struggled in the past to find things to laugh about, because I try so hard to keep everything going.  Take a break, look for the good around you and find something to laugh about!  If you can find a fun place to laugh, like at the beach, that’s a double benefit.


I want you to know that you don’t have to give up all the things you love to be healthy.  You may need to give up some, but not all of them.  One of the best tips I can give you is to do everything in moderation.  If you love sweets, have some, but choose wisely.  If you love your wine, that’s ok too…just don’t overdo it.  As we age, we find that we enjoy those moments with a glass of wine (or beer in my case), or maybe you don’t drink alcohol but like to have a piece of cake or pie as you wind down in the evening.  Enjoy life, don’t deprive yourself of the things that bring you joy, but enjoy them wisely.  We can age gracefully, and stay healthy as we age, too!



The Struggle Is Real

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I took a break from blog posts for a while, because quite honestly, I just didn’t feel like I had anything to say.

I’ve been working and doing all the things I do on a daily basis, but I haven’t even been journaling. I have done that for as long as I can remember, but I just didn’t have any more words.

 I thought maybe my writing days were over.  

I have come out of this writing desert with one thing on my mind.  If you focus only on yourself, your problems, figuring out how to get out of a mess, planning for the future, and working yourself to death trying to do it all, you will eventually realize that it’s not all about you.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t plan..you should.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t work…you should.  I’m not even saying you shouldn’t care about and be concerned for your own self…you definitely should.  What I am saying is that if you only think about yourself and your future you will be very lonely, stressed out, anxious and not very fun to be around.

I know this from experience.

My life has always been happier and more fulfilled when I am doing things for other people. Unfortunately, sometimes when you get involved in a church it becomes a duty to do things for other people, and it can even become a competition…who can do more and post more pictures of doing more so everyone sees?  This stresses me out and makes me not want to do things for other people at all.  I tend to be a person of extremes.  I’m either all in or I’m all out.

Lately, I’ve been all out.

So, what does all this mean for me?  I guess it just means that I’m back.  Hopefully my writing days are not over, and hopefully I can find a way to put other people back in my focus instead of thinking about myself all the time and worrying about how I’m going to do something a year from now.

I think I’m just going to try to focus on one day at a time, it’s really all we’ve got anyway. 

Vitamins vs. whole food nutrition

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Have you ever wondered where vitamins come from?  I mean, you would probably think that they would obviously come from fruits and vegetables, right?  I used to think the same thing.

Before I started eating Juice Plus, my counter looked like a supplement display at a pharmacy.  I had one of those stair step shelves on my counter and I had supplements lined up on every shelf.  I had vitamins, herbs, minerals; you name it, I probably had some at one time.  The sad part is that with all of those pills I was popping every day, I was still suffering from migraines, joint pain and stomach issues.  Every time I would read an article about how this herb or that supplement would help with joint pain, I would try it.  Seriously, at one time I was taking about a dozen pills a day, no prescriptions, just vitamins, minerals and herbs.   And it wasn’t helping.

Lately, I have been wondering, “Where do they get those vitamins anyway?”   I looked up several articles on the topic and found it to be very disturbing.  Most vitamins that you find in the pharmacy, grocery store, health food store and online are synthetic.  Synthetic means man made, or not occurring in nature.  So, when you open up that bottle of multi-vitamins, chances are there isn’t anything natural about it.

I still can’t wrap my head around how scientists “make” vitamins that naturally occur in fruits and vegetables in a lab, then they somehow get all of that stuff in a capsule or a pill.  I guess that’s all way above my pay grade.  What I can tell you is exactly how Juice Plus is made, because it is all fruits, vegetables and grains.  Juice Plus is REAL food, grown in nature. Here is a video describing how Juice Plus is made.

According to the articles that I read about vitamins, most agreed that you can’t get the nutrition you need by taking vitamins.  For one reason, synthetic vitamins are not absorbed by the body the same as food. Quite often they are actually flushed out of our bodies in our urine.

I am one of those people who believes that our bodies were created and given everything we need to live healthy lives right from the beginning.  I am not a vegan or even a vegetarian, but I do believe that a person could live entirely on fruits and vegetables if they were grown in a medium that promotes high nutritional quality.  The problem is that even the fruits and vegetables we buy in the grocery stores today do not have the same nutritional quality as they did when our parents and grandparents were farming.

If you are truly interested in good health, I recommend that you do some research yourself and decide if synthetic vitamins are what you want to put in your body.  I will only put real food in my body, food that my body was created to absorb and use for energy and good health.  Juice Plus is a great addition to your diet if you need to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet.  Once your body receives the nutrition it is craving, you will see all kinds of positive effects!


Calling, Craft or Both?

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I was reading a message from my sisters this morning.  (I missed the whole conversation last night and had to catch up.) I realized something from that conversation.   I’ve been doing everything but what I know I am called to be doing.  Have you ever had that happen??

I was sitting here this morning writing about distractions, and got distracted with several things which led me to read the messages I missed last night.  Distractions come in all shapes, sizes and forms.  There are good distractions and bad distractions.  Unfortunately, when you are like me, distractions come all day long like pesky mosquitoes bombarding you when you are trying to sleep. I’ve never been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, but I have a feeling if they were diagnosing that when I was a kid, I would have been labeled.  I’ve always struggled with sitting  still, paying attention, hearing directions.  I hear the first step and I’m gone….my mind is already on step one, while the person is still going through the steps.  I have to keep going back and asking for the next step, and I’m sure its frustrating to the person trying to show me something.  That’s why I learn so much better by doing things. Don’t try to explain it to me, show it to me.  Just don’t let any butterflies fly by while I’m learning or I’ll be looking at the butterfly.  The jokes you see on facebook are just jokes, but for people like me, they are real.  Oh, look at the squirrel, I mean..butterfly.

I had been praying the last few days that God would show me where my focus needs to be.  There are so many options out there, and my mind grabs a little piece of each one and thinks “Oh, I like that one!”  Unfortunately, I like them all.  I want to grab a little piece of each thing I see and try it all. This doesn’t work when you are starting a business.  There has to be a singular focus, one goal. Otherwise you will never know how to measure your success.

You might think there is a formula for prayer.  I heard something on the radio the other day, “Prayer is a process, people don’t understand how it works.”  Maybe they’re right.  Or maybe, just maybe, prayer is just me talking to my Father.  Sometimes it’s me begging for answers from someone who wants to give them to me in the first place.  Sometimes it’s just crying and not even knowing what to say.  Sometimes it’s a spoiled child demanding that God give me what he’s promised.  Any of that sound familiar.  Well, this week my prayers started off like the spoiled child, then migrated into crying and not knowing what to say and eventually became “Abba, I trust you, or at least I’m trying to, I need you to show me.  Give me the creativity that I need.  Help me to be who I’m supposed to be, who I already am but can’t seem to find.”  Then this morning…light bulb.

My light bulb moment came when I realized I had lost my initial focus.  I have known for a long time my calling, if you will, is to help people see their value and beauty exactly how they are today.  But life, and new shiny things and butterflies distracted me.  I started reaching for ALL the things instead of focusing on one thing.  When the one thing didn’t bring fast results, I thought maybe if I had fifteen little feelers out there instead of one….That may work with some things, but really in the end it only divides your attention in so many directions that you can’t focus on the one most important thing.

For me the one most important thing is people.  Mainly my focus is on women, because I am one and sometimes I can relate.  But really my focus is on all people. I have two sons who struggle in different ways than I do, but they still struggle with seeing their own value and beauty (or handsomeness if you want to look at it that way).  It is so easy for me to see the beauty in other people, yet look at myself as if I need so much work to even come close.  I often wonder if I’ll ever measure up and if I’ll ever be good enough.  I have to be reminded frequently that I. AM. ENOUGH.

You may be asking, where does the craft come in?  I went to school to be a health coach.  I have not become a health coach yet, because so many other things get in the way.  Excuses?  Real obstacles?  Both really.  The bottom line to all of this is that my calling is to help people see themselves the way God sees them, and my craft is to help them see who they are today and imagine who they could be tomorrow.  I honestly believe that in order to truly change, though, we have to learn to accept who we are today and learn to love who we are today.  Change may be necessary, but acceptance and belief in who we truly are has to come first.

Got it together?

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This has been one heck of a week.  If anyone even has the slightest thought that I have it all together, this week would be a great example of how I DON’T have it all together at all.

Have you read Ann Voskamp’s new book, The Broken Way?  I just finished it this week and the only way I can explain it is it wrecked me. I’m not sure yet if it was in a good way or bad way, I’ll let you know when I figure it out.  If you want to take a look at it, you can check it out here.

I had a kind of slow week at work this week, so I was reading during my slow times.  It was rather embarrassing a few times when I had to quickly wipe away tears when someone would walk into my office.  I can’t remember when I’ve cried so much while reading a book.

There were just so many things that spoke to me in that book.  I know I’m broken, there’s no doubt about that, but when I read her book I realized it goes way beyond what i thought.  I have spent so many years building walls, I don’t even realize I have walls anymore.  They just are there, quietly protecting me from pain and real life and any kind of real love and enjoyment that you get out of those things.  I have spent so much time trying to protect myself from getting hurt that I have found that I have protected myself into a corner.  A corner of loneliness and discouragement.  You might not notice it when you talk to me, but it’s there, quietly hiding under the surface, just waiting for the right moment to hijack my life.

That right moment came yesterday when the reality of a letter I received two weeks ago became larger than life.  Unexpected financial struggles came into clear view and I wasn’t ready for it.  I thought I was going to have more time to plan for it, but as life does, it threw me a curve ball.  Oh, I’m not losing my house or anything, but things are going to be tighter and I’ll just be honest, I’d kind of gotten use to having that little extra padding when I wanted to do something special.

So, what do you do when you have something unexpected show up in your life?  Me, I have a melt down, mostly because I’ve been holding in all the stress and anxiety of life for a really long time…pretending it’s not there.  You can pretend you’re not worried if you want to, that’s not the same as having faith.  After my meltdown, I calmed down and tried to look at things a little more rationally.  I was going to have to be more careful, more intentional.  I was going to have to live in the real world now, the one I’ve been protecting myself from for so long.

I went to a Zumbathon last night, because I know that when I go to Zumba, everything just kind of melts away and I can see a little more clearly.  The last song we did was the new song by Mercy Me…Even If.  If you’ve never heard that song, you definitely need to listen to it.

This song speaks volumes to me.  I feel like a big baby when I complain about my small issues when I know there are others out there who are so much worse off than me.  I feel spoiled and selfish.

I’m not one of those bloggers out there who has all kinds of sweet answers for everything and I’ve been there, done that and came out on the other side victorious.  Most days I look at the clock at 9:00 pm and think “I’ve done nothing I planned to do today! ugh!”  Yeah, I’m broken.  I’m not so good at sharing my broken side, I feel like most people don’t want to see you broken, they want to see you fixed so you can show them how to be fixed, too.  But I’m not fixed.

Here’s my answer to that.

JESUS, every day, every minute.  It’s all I’ve got.  I don’t know how in any reality I would be able to survive without my relationship with him.  I don’t do law, I don’t do rules, I don’t do performance…anymore…I just look to him and beg for answers.  And usually I look to him and beg for answers after I’ve already exhausted all of my own ideas and I’ve had a meltdown.  But you know what?  He’s always there.  He’s ALWAYS there.  Why can’t I remember that when I’m in the middle of a so-called crisis and not have the meltdown?  I don’t know, but what I do know is if you’re looking for perfection, you won’t find it here.

If you’re looking for someone whose ready to be open with their broken, messed up life, you’ve come to the right place.  And hopefully you’re ready to be open with your broken, messed up life, too.