Why I Love Juice Plus

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This is how I start every morning: fruit, vegetables, berries all in capsules.  It’s not because I don’t like fruit and vegetables, I do!  I eat Juice Plus because I know I don’t eat ENOUGH fruit and vegetables on a daily basis.

I have noticed so many improvements in myself as well as my husband and son.  I have seen a huge decline in migraines.  Previous to taking Juice Plus I was getting a migraine about three to four times a week.  Most people who have known me for a while know that I always carried Excedrin Migraine and ibuprofen any time I left the house.  I no longer carry either one with me.  My joint pain has been greatly reduced, my energy level has improved dramatically. I have had the energy to do many things that I didn’t feel like doing previously, either because it would cause too much pain or because I was just too tired.


My husband and I have started hiking more often, and not just hiking in the woods or on cement trails.  Above is a picture at the top of Hanging Rock in N.C. where we went two weekends in a row.  We plan to start finding new places to hike during the good weather.

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These pictures were taken Thanksgiving day after dinner.  We didn’t want to just sit in front of the television, so we went out for a hike.  Luckily where we live in Southern Virginia the weather is good enough to do some of these things so late in the fall. I’m so thankful that my family has been so willing to join me on this journey with Juice Plus…I think we all had fun and had some opportunities for some fun pictures that we wouldn’t have gotten if we were all in different rooms watching tv.

Before Juice Plus I was so tired when I got home from work I would just want to sit and not do anything.  That’s not to say that is what I did, it’s just what I wanted to do.  Now I have the energy to keep going and doing the things I need to do.  I’m very thankful that I found Juice Plus and I will keep eating it and sharing it for the rest of my life.

If you are interested in learning more about Juice Plus, please check out my website m-t4.juiceplus.com or email me at lifestylemuse@yahoo.com.



My First Juice Plus Big Event #JPCON St. Louis 2016


I wanted to share a few things that I took away from my first big Juice Plus conference.  I went to a regional conference in Raleigh back in August, which is what made me decide to commit to the St. Louis conference, but Raleigh was on a much smaller scale.

I’m just going to be honest, I’m a skeptic.  I’ve been through a lot of things, seen a lot of sales pitches both in the business world and the religious world and I’ve gotten a little calloused I think.  I have always taken people at face value and often trusted them when they didn’t earn that trust.  I see the best in people, not what they are, but what they can be.  Sometimes, that gets me in trouble.  So, I have have become a skeptic over the years.  I want proof, I don’t want hype, or emotion or a bunch of fluff.  When I took the Dr. Sears Health Coach Certification program, one of the things he says is “Show me the science.”  I know that when it comes to faith, we have to have faith without seeing, but some things we have to see.

Right before going the conference I had become a little discouraged.  I had already experienced so many changes in my own health since starting Juice Plus and seen improvement in my family and my friends who are also taking it.  But, I was having a hard time sharing it with people.  It felt like I was trying to sell something even though I really believe so much in the product and believe it will help people if they try it.  So, when I was getting ready to go to the conference, I had a talk with myself.  “Don’t let yourself get drawn into a bunch of emotion and hype, listen for the proof, look for the science and evidence.  Be smart.”

One of the main things I wanted to do at the JPCon was meet Dr. Sears.  He is really the reason I started taking Juice Plus in the first place.  So, on Thursday, the first full day of the conference, I got to meet Dr. Sears.


Dr. Sears is one of the nicest people and was very willing to take the time to talk with me and a lot of other people who were there for the weekend.  I was able to catch him the next day for just a few moments and ask him for advice about my new health coaching career that I am working on.  He was busy proofreading a new class that they are getting ready to launch but he stopped and took the time to talk to me. People are important to him.

I also got to meet Dr. Mitra Ray.  I have been watching her videos on YouTube for the last several months, so it was exciting to meet her in person.  She is very down to earth and seems to be very sincere and happy to meet people and talk with them.


One thing I didn’t anticipate, although maybe I should have, was meeting new people and developing new relationships.  It’s amazing how you can go to something like that and there are hundreds or even thousands of people who have the same belief and are on the same path together.  It was so positive and uplifting to be around like minded people.  I believe some of these new people will become my very good friends.



Sarah is the one who has been encouraging to me this whole time.  She has prayed for me and with me, encouraged me and motivated me to go to the conference in the first place.  Everyone needs a friend who will walk with them on their journey and help them achieve the things they want to achieve. I’m very thankful for the friendship that Sarah and I are building together.  In fact, I think my first flight was a little easier since I was able to look at Sarah and know that some of those little bumps were just normal and nothing to worry about. 🙂  It’s really nice to go places you’ve never been with someone who has already been there, they kind of know the ropes and what to expect.   Isn’t it really like that in life? it’s nice to know that you’re with someone who’s been there and can help you in the direction you need to go.


One of the biggest things I took away from the whole conference was that people are what it’s all about.  The most important thing about all this is people.  It’s about building and maintaining relationships, not because we want to make money, but because we want to make a difference in someone’s life.  For someone who’s never had a migraine, it may not seem that big of a deal to share that Juice Plus has helped nearly eliminated migraines from my life.  But for that person who suffers migraines all the time and just wishes they could find something to help, that means the world to them.  I don’t personally need to lose weight, but I heard many stories of people losing weight after starting to flood their bodies with the fruits and vegetables of Juice Plus, and stories of asthma sufferers getting rid of their inhalers, children with ADHD not needing their prescriptions anymore, and so many more stories from real people with real problems.  It was exciting, it was like having an iv of positive for four days, but more than that it was real.  I saw real people, touched them and heard their stories of success in business, recovery from so many illnesses and overall a change in attitude and direction in their lives.  The really awesome thing is that most, if not all of the people who spoke, gave credit to God for all of their successes and recovery.  Where else can you find that?

When I got home from the airport on Sunday, I was exhausted, but yet invigorated at the same time.  You might wonder how you can be exhausted and invigorated all at once, but it’s possible.  On Monday, I set out to make some progress, make some calls, organize…I just wanted to keep that momentum.  I didn’t want my everyday responsibilities to squelch all that positive energy that I had from the conference.  While I was taking apart some chairs to have them reupholstered I had so many thoughts going through my head that I decided to record my thoughts.  I thought I would share with you some of the thoughts I had that really grew from not only the conference, but from the last several months of change and growth in my life.

One of the first thoughts that came to my mind was about the parable in the Bible of the talents.  A master called three of his servants and gave each of them a portion, 5 talents, 2 talents and 1 talent.  In this parable, it seems to refer to money, and it says he gave them according to their own ability, then he left on a journey.  According to the story, the man with the 5 talents went and traded with them and gained 5 more, the one with 2 talents went and did the same, but the man with only 1 talent hid his.  The story goes that when the master came back from his journey, he went to the men and found that the first two and doubled the money he gave them.  These two men were rewarded and called “good and faithful”.  When he spoke to the man who had 1 talent, he found that the man hid his talent instead of taking it and doing something with it.   The reason the man gave for hiding his talent was this: “Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground.  Look, there you have what is yours.”  The master was not happy with this servant and his 1 talent was taken and given to the man with 10 talents, and he was cast out.  This parable has often bothered me.  I couldn’t understand why the master would be so angry with the servant, at least he didn’t lose what he was given.  I think the reason I’ve always thought that way is because I was kind of like that servant.  I was afraid of God.  I think one of the main points in this whole parable is that our perspectives of God is what shapes the direction we take.  Maybe the first two men were not afraid of their master, either that or they were way more motivated by fear.  Most of my life I have played is safe.  I think that my fear of God, the fear that he would be angry with me if I failed, the fear that he would turn away from me if I didn’t use what he had given me in exactly the right way, that is what has stopped me from trying so many times.  That fear was always right there in front of me.  What if I don’t do it right, what if I make him look bad?  So, I didn’t try to do much of anything that I wasn’t sure I could do.

There is a much different outcome for a person when they are not afraid of failing, when they are not afraid they will disappoint someone if they fall.  They are able to try things, and accomplish things that they never knew were possible, because they are not afraid.  I have finally found that place in my life where I am not afraid of God, I am not afraid of failing.  In fact, I am way more afraid of staying where I am than I am of failing.  I am way more interested in trying to do something even if it doesn’t go exactly the way I have it planned in my head.  I think that is what the master was angry about.  He wouldn’t have been angry if the man with the 1 talent had lost some or even all of the money as long as he was out there trying to do something with what he had.  It’s not about what was done with what the other two men had so much as it was that they did something with it.

The thing about it is that we all have “talents”.  For some of us it is money, for others it may be abilities, gifts and other resources.  The best thing for all of us to do is recognize what those things are and use them.  Sometimes we might fail, sometimes we might fall down on our faces and have to get back up and try again, but we have to do something.  Sometimes it even means you can find what you love to do and make it a career, and a bonus for me is that I get to help people in that career.

Something one of the speakers said last weekend really stuck with me.  She said, “You have to be you.  Don’t change who you are to do this business, just be you.”  This is one of the things I’ve struggled with.  I have a certain way that I like to dress, and a certain lifestyle and for the most part those things line up with the image the company wants to portray.  The big thing was I kept thinking, do I have to dress up more than I like to?  Or do I need to have a fancy house or better cars to fit in.  One thing I’ve learned recently is that you have to be yourself, no matter what that looks like.  If you try to be something that you’re not, you’re just frustrating yourself.  I came up with this analogy. What if my dream in life is to fly, not on an airplane, but like an eagle?  So if I work my hardest, study, plan, eat right and pray hard to be able to fly, I should be able to fly someday right?  The truth is, my body was not created to fly; some things really are impossible.  I guess I could resort to having my body altered if I’m that serious about flying, but ultimately I was not meant to fly like that.  So by working hard, planning and studying on something that I will never be able to accomplish and was never meant to accomplish I am only frustrating myself.  I would become more and more angry with myself for not reaching that goal.  Sometimes I think we spend way too much time trying to be something or someone we were never meant to be and we end up frustrated and angry and not using our time in a way that will really benefit us.  I know it might sound a little strange, but one of the most important things I took away from the conference was that it is time for me to start using the gifts that I’ve been given, and I need to be myself.  I need to remember my value and learn to use my talents in a way that will not only benefit me, but benefit others.  Really that’s what we all need to do.

So, as I’m sharing my story, know that I am sharing it because I care about you.  Know that I have walked a journey of trying to be something and someone I was never created to be, but all that is changing.  I am on a journey of really being me, of sharing what I’ve learned with other people so they can be free, too.  When all the people have gone back home, when all the confetti has been cleaned up, when all the beautiful, talented, successful people have gone back to their homes and we’re back to our normal little lives, it’s really about people.  It’s about sharing journeys and helping people through the places that we’ve already gone.


This is just the beginning and I can’t wait!






The Health Of Our People

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Disclaimer:  This may be a controversial post, but I mean it to help, not hurt.  First, I do not condone or approve of violence in any way to solve problems, I love our country and even with all the negative things this election year is bringing about, I still believe it is the best country to live in. I also don’t know how to feel about the football players not standing for the national anthem, to me a lot of things have just become ritual that we do on the outside with no real feeling related to them.  We do them so other people will look at us in a positive light, like saying grace before a meal.  But that’s another post.

Oh…this is going to be long.

Can I just share a few things from my heart?  This election is bringing so much turmoil into our lives and our country that I can’t even believe it, or stand it.  People talk all the time about making America great again; they have to be talking about making it great financially again, or maybe they mean making us a strong, dominating force on the world stage again, or maybe they are just talking about how some people used to just be quiet and not stand up for themselves?

I also hear statements like, “We need to go back to what this country was built on: God, faith, and freedom.”  Maybe we all need to be reminded of a few things.  Our founding fathers did not come to America peacefully, just looking for a place to worship God in their own way.  They came in violently.  Just take a look at your history books, if you can still read about how we took the land from the natives.  Why?  Because we wanted it.  As big as this continent is, you would think we could have found a way to live peaceably, or at least found another spot. The country was not completely inhabited with Native Americans. Even if we give them the benefit of the doubt and say the early settlers tried to peacefully obtain land, but the natives were violent, what would you expect?  People came from another land, who speak a different language and maybe they didn’t even know that other humans existed.  I’d be afraid, too.  We are afraid if someone “different” comes across our path.  Just ask any Native American who still knows their true roots if they think we should go back to the way it was.  Maybe before foreigners came.

Next, why don’t we talk about the slaves brought over from Africa?  I know none of the people living today were slaves, they probably don’t even have any grandparents who remember being slaves.  Maybe they have great grandparents or great, great grandparents who were slaves and they remember the stories they were told down through the years.  I know that we, the people who live in America today, had nothing to do with the physical acts of slavery from 150 years ago and before.  But there are those of us today who want to keep the spirit of slavery alive.  I am not one of those people, but I know there are some out there.

Some people still look at other people and judge them based on their color.  This isn’t something new, it’s been going on since the beginning.  Well, since people started noticing differences in each other.  I know there are a lot of people who say, “They need to just get over it, they were never slaves, we were never slaveholders.”  Have you ever been in a relationship where the other person treats you like you are inferior, constantly calling you names and talking down to you?  Have you ever tried to better yourself only to have that person keep holding you back, reminding you that you are not good enough?  You can forgive them, if you choose to, but you can’t “get over it”, because it never stops.  I’ve heard people say, “If they don’t like it here, let them go back where they came from and see how they like that.”  Like comparing their situation here to a violent, poverty stricken place is going to make them feel better.  Or like that is even a viable solution.  The vast majority of people who live in this country today, came from here!  That attitude is simply a form of manipulation, it is a way of ignoring the problem and refusing to be part of a conversation that could actually facilitate change.  It’s rude, unkind, hateful and I’m ashamed to admit that I may have said similar things many years ago before I really understood.

When I was struggling in my marriage, there were people who said, “Why don’t you leave, go back where you were before?”  Sometimes that is just not the answer.  Sometimes the answer is getting to the bottom of the problem and working through it so both people can be happy.  When everything came to the surface for me, I told my husband “I’m not satisfied with just not fighting anymore, I want good, and if we can’t have that I’m done.”  I’m getting too old to worry about whether I am loved or not, or whether voicing my opinion is going to cause an argument.  It took both of us to recognize the problem and both of us to work on it for things to get better.  Neither one of us could make things better alone.

Maybe I can relate to people who feel oppressed, because I have felt it myself.  Where I first experienced what I believe was oppression was in the religious world where I was treated differently because my parents were divorced.  Then I was treated differently because I didn’t believe everything I was being taught, and I said so.  Again I was treated differently because I didn’t like being a girl, because girls were treated differently than boys, in my opinion as if they were less than.  Then in the business world, when I started working construction in a male dominated work force.  Many men in the construction field in the late 80’s and early 90’s didn’t think it was a place for women and didn’t think women should be paid the same.  I really did have to work twice as hard and do more work than my male counterparts to prove my worth, and even then I’m not sure I got paid the same as they did.  Did everyone have the same experience as I did? No, there are a lot of women who can’t understand why I feel the way I do at all, and many who have said, “You just need to ‘get over it’ and move on.”  They are right in one way, I need to move on, get past the hurt, acknowledge what was done and forgive.  But no, I will never forget it.  If I forget it, I will not be able to empathize with other people who still feel the way I felt back then, and sometimes even still do today.

So, what is the answer?  I’m pretty sure I’ll get some flack from all sides on this, but I think there are many answers.  One answer is that we need to stop separating ourselves.  When we fill out applications the question comes up asking our nationality or race.  We answer “I am black”, “I am white”, “I am Hispanic”, “I am Native American”.  What if we just put down “I am human”?  (It may come to that someday from what I am reading and hearing lately.)  What if we stopped associating ourselves with our dividing lines of color and heritage?  I know the government loves to put those questions there because, well let’s face it they need a certain amount “other than white” to be compliant.  What if we just hired someone based on their experience and abilities and gifts without knowing what color they are, or what gender they are?

I’m not saying we should throw out our heritage.  What I am saying is that you didn’t get to choose.  I didn’t get to choose what race I would be.  If I could have chosen, would I have chosen to be black?  Knowing what I know today, honestly no I wouldn’t.  I am also saying that your heritage is where you came from, but it doesn’t have to determine where you are going.  None of us got to choose where we started, but we all get to choose what we do with what we’ve been given and we all get to choose what direction we go in.  We just have to decide if it is worth the fight, to go against the flow.  Is it worth the pain and discomfort it will cause to facilitate the change or would we rather stay where we are and complain?  Most of us, if we’re honest, we want to see change but we want someone else to be or make the change and we want to enjoy the results.

Change has to take place in each individual’s heart, but it also has to take place in the larger groups.  I have been to many different churches over the years and I have heard hate preached from the pulpits.  Some “Christians” can be the worst ones for being bigoted.  As much as I hate to admit it, some Christians believe they are superior.  They talk about favor, and God protecting “His people”.  Even when the hurricane was coming I heard people say, “God will protect his people”.  We are all His people.  We are all made in His image.  Not just the white men, not just the one’s who have accepted what He has done for them.  We are all God’s people.  If you paint a picture of a god who only loves white people, or Jews, or even only those who have believed, you are peddling a lie!  Jesus died for all humanity, because He (God) loves all humanity.  He did it BEFORE we believed, so that we can believe.

I know this will probably help some people feel angry (because no one can make you angry), but I believe I have to say it.  I don’t want to be a part of the religious establishment who does not want people to express how they feel, because it makes some of them uncomfortable.  I’ve spent too many years in relationships myself that I did not feel comfortable expressing my true feelings because I felt afraid of the consequences.

I don’t believe violence is the answer, it only hurts more people and we need to stop hurting each other.  I don’t think the answer is demeaning people by giving them more than they work for, it is only proving to them that we don’t believe they are capable.  We are all capable.  None of us needs to be taken care of (with the exception of those who are elderly, disabled or children), we can take care of ourselves if we are allowed the opportunity.  We need to stop dividing ourselves with words like black, white, indian and Hispanic and start uniting ourselves by calling each other people.

There are so many things that each of us can bring to the table.  As in any relationship, there are many people with different strengths, gifts, abilities and even weaknesses.  Inside each of us, down through the generations, there are parts of our heritages that we can bring together and do so much more good.  My stepmom came from a Polish family and she taught me to make some of the best Polish food I’ve ever eaten.  My first mother in law was Native American and she could cook the best cantaloupe pie and for years there was no written recipe, it was just something she made up one day.  My next door neighbor, Sam, was one of the nicest men I’ve ever known, when he passed I was truly sad about it.  I went to his funeral and I was one of the few (maybe 5) white people in the church.  I didn’t care.  I respected that man, and cared for him.  He was a logger and he was one of the hardest working men I know.  Even when he was dying from cancer he would go out on that truck, because he knew it had to be done.  There are so many other examples I could use of people of different nationalities and races, people I have come to respect and love; Leon, our friend who owns a Mexican restaurant in town, my friend Kathy who is Sicilian, and her daughters who are mixed Sicilian and black.  I love them and am proud to know them.

I know there is hurt, and I know I have been complicit by not speaking out when I hear things being said that are hurtful.  I am sorry for that.  My heart is that we would all accept each other  as people, and stop allowing our leaders, Christian and otherwise to keep separating us.  We need to stand together, all as one; real change can’t come as long as we continue to be divided.


Food for thought:

Romans 13:8-10  Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.  The commandments, “Do not commit adultery”, “Do not steal”, “Do not covet”, and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule, “Love your neighbor as yourself”.  Love does no harm to its neighbor.  Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.


Why I Eat Juice Plus

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First, notice that I said, “Why I EAT Juice Plus.”  Juice Plus is food; not a vitamin, not a supplement (although you do supplement your already good diet or your poor diet by eating it), and not a medicine.

Why I started eating Juice Plus.

I started eating Juice Plus so I could get it for my youngest son, who is 16.  He rarely eats vegetables or fruit and as a health coach I know the importance of eating fruits and vegetables every day.  I also started eating Juice Plus because Dr. Sears recommends it and because I realized that I do not eat nearly enough fruits and vegetables myself.

Why I will keep eating Juice Plus.

I will keep eating Juice Plus because when other people are fighting colds and headaches and catching the bugs that go around, I am not.  That is not to say I will never get sick again, I know that is probably not the case.  The fact is, I have not had any of my “normal” allergy problems that I had before eating Juice Plus.  Migraines are almost totally eliminated.  Joint pain is minimal.  Energy level is higher than ever.  And lately I’ve noticed my sense of smell is much more heightened as well, this is not always a good thing.  And just to be honest, as much as I try to eat healthy, I know I need to do a lot better.  Just as a reminder, we should be eating 7 to 12 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.  This is what I ate yesterday and how many servings of fruits and vegetables were included.


Breakfast:  30 fruits and veggies (My Juice Plus Trio) My coconut/almond milk not so smoothie…1 serving of pumpkin

Lunch: Juice Plus Complete (more fruits and veggies)

Snack: Sweet potato chips with hummus-I think I can count that as one serving of veggies between the chips and the hummus, but I didn’t measure it.

Dinner: Greek Yogurt parfait with maybe a whole strawberry and two blueberries.

Snack: Bacon, egg & cheese cup.

Now you see why it is important to me to eat Juice Plus every day.  If I didn’t eat my juice plus, I might be lucky to say that I eat two or three servings of fruit and veggies per day.  Most days I eat a salad as well, but yesterday was a busy day and I didn’t have time.


Here’s a challenge.  Take a week and write down everything you eat, and keep in context how many servings of fruit and vegetables you are getting in each meal.  Maybe you do better than me.  It will really put things into perspective for you if you keep track for a week.

Why I will never go without my Juice Plus.

When I first started eating Juice Plus, I went to a smoothie party and I heard several people say that they would never stop eating their Juice Plus.  I had only been eating Juice Plus for a couple weeks at that time and hadn’t really noticed any major changes yet, so I was still skeptical.  I tend to like to see for myself about most things, and I don’t just believe everything I hear.  I didn’t realize at that time what a huge change it would make for me personally, but I do now.  I feel exactly the same way:  I will give up just about anything else in my grocery budget in order to keep eating Juice Plus.  I tried juicing; it was ok, but the preparation and clean up was so tedious I just couldn’t make myself keep doing it.  And when I would try making some different juices for variety, sometimes I would ruin the whole batch and it was really expensive.  I know for myself Juice Plus has really simplified my life for me.  I love the Juice Plus complete because I drink that for lunch nearly every day and it takes so little time to pack my lunch.  It costs me $2.00 a day for lunch which is about $5.00 less than when I go to Wendy’s to get a salad.  The only other way I could eat lunch for $2.00 is to go to McDonalds and that is just not going to happen.

I love my Juice Plus.  I wish I had learned about it a long time ago, but maybe I wouldn’t have been ready back then.  Take the challenge.  Write down what you eat every day for a week and see how you’re doing with your fruits and vegetables.  I think you’ll find it very interesting.


If you would like more information about Juice Plus, check out m-t4.juiceplus.com or comment below. 




Prime Time Health

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We had an amazing time Monday night with my first Wine & Wellness event.  We gathered at Hamlet Vineyards, had a few appetizers, a glass of wine or Sangria and learned a little bit about how we can make some positive, but simple changes in our lives.

On October 18, 2016, I will be going more in depth on how to change our lifestyles to improve, adjust, and sometimes completely overhaul our eating habits.  Most of us will admit that we don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, we don’t exercise enough and we probably don’t get nearly enough sleep.  As I was going through my health coaching certification process, I learned that even I am not as healthy as I thought I was.  (And I thought I was pretty healthy!)

One of the reasons I went back to school to be a health coach was because I wanted to learn how everything works in our bodies.  Why does fat affect us the way it does?  How much fat is good?  Is all fat bad?  I used to believe that a no fat diet was the very best diet you could possibly use, but I was wrong.  What about how to balance protein and carbs?  Can people who are diagnosed with diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and other illnesses get completely well without prescription medication?  For as long as I can remember I have not wanted to take prescriptions in any form.  It is a very rare occasion that I will take a prescription.  I have to be desperate.

Let me tell you about a time I was desperate.  A few years ago, I got a promotion from working out on the floor, which was a very physical job, to working in an office.  At the time I was just really excited about getting the promotion, which also came with a raise, that I didn’t think about the effects it would have on me physically.  I was in good shape physically, my weight was where it should be, I had muscle tone and other than the “normal” joint pain and migraines & allergies that I had come to accept as part of my life, I felt pretty good.  After only a year of sitting more than I was working physically I started to experience a pain in my hip that was not normal.  Eventually it started to radiate down my leg, and before long the pain was even in the bottom of my foot.  My leg was tense all the time and I felt like I couldn’t relax, even when I was in bed.  I had already been taking ibuprofen pretty much every four hours almost every day, but it wasn’t even making a dent in the pain I was having.  I was going to the chiropractor at least once a month, sometimes even more often than that.  I started adding tylenol to the ibuprofen most days with very little relief.  You may have figured out by now that the pain I was experiencing was sciatica pain.  I looked on the internet for every possible natural remedy that didn’t involve prescriptions.  I had already been to my doctor who recommended steroids, but I refused.  After nearly a year of trying everything, including yoga, using a tennis ball for massage, chiropractor and prayer (continually), I decided it was time to give in and try the prescription.  At that point, I was getting desperate.  Right at the same time I decided to take the prescription, my husband and I decided to go to Alabama for some training related to his job in paint and body repair.  I didn’t know how I was going to ride 9 hours to get to the hotel, but somehow I made it.  After the training we went to visit my older sister in Birmingham for the night.  In the morning, we were getting ready to leave for the 8 1/2  hour drive back home and I was in so much pain that I was in tears.  My sister made a suggestion to me that led me to research a natural anti-inflammatory that I found on the internet that very day.  I had been taking the steroids for almost a week by then with no notable relief.  I stopped taking the steroids and as soon as I got the natural anti-inflammatory I started taking it.  After only taking the natural anti-inflammatory for one week, I started noticing a difference.  After a month, the pain was nearly gone.  After a month and a half, I was so excited that I did not have any more pain in my hip.  That is when I realized how much inflammation affects our bodies.

It was after I went through my trouble with my sciatica that I decided I wanted to go back to school to be a health coach.  I wanted to learn how to be healthy, not just skinny, and how to really be healthy deep down, not just look good.  I realized very quickly that my new sedentary job had a lot to do with my trouble and that I was going to have to intentionally exercise now that my job did not require it from me.

I said all that to say this.  Prime Time Health is all about how to be healthy from the inside out.  It is about all four aspects of health: Lifestyle Exercise Attitude and Nutrition.  We are very diverse people and have different likes, dislikes, desires and gifts, but all of us some of the same things.  We all need a lifestyle that leads us to better health, rather than to growing old too fast.  We all need to move our bodies on a regular basis so that things work the way they’re supposed to with less or no pain.  We all need an attitude that is positive and that shows that we want to succeed at whatever we are doing…a can-do attitude.  And lastly, but possibly most importantly we all need to learn what good nutrition is and how to integrate it into our daily, busy lives.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please contact me for more information.  I will be posting an event on Facebook, for those that follow me there, I will also have an event sign up here on my website so that you can pay for your ticket in advance.  Just look down the left side of the page and you will see it under “Events”.   I will need to know how many people will attend as soon as possible.

I truly believe we can learn how to take better care of ourselves and how we can live a longer, healthier life.  I hope you will join me Oct. 18, 2016 at 6:30 pm.


Tower Garden Update 8/2016

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You know, I really consider myself to be fairly intelligent, definitely not dumb,but when it comes to websites and downloading/uploading pictures and getting them to work right, it can make even the smartest person feel a little dumb.  Several days ago I took pictures with my phone, thinking I could just upload them to my website right from there and it would be so simple.  Not simple at all.  I ended up taking the pictures again with my camera and loading them on to my computer so I could attempt to get them uploaded without such a struggle.  So this is the resulting update. 🙂


We had a few pretty dry weeks, so my dirt garden is looking a little rough.  Actually, everything except the peppers are pretty well done for.  I did water a little bit here and there, but for the most part, I kind of let nature have it’s way.  I have gotten a total of about 2 1/2  dozen tomatoes from the tomato plants in my dirt garden.


My tower garden on the other hand, is still flourishing.



These pictures were taken last week.  I had so much trouble with my website uploading pictures that I couldn’t get things to work right until now.  Having faster internet has certainly helped!

TG 8416 2

TG 8416 1



I had to trim off some dead leaves, etc. so these are pictures I took today.



The following pictures are of my traditional dirt garden.  It is looking pretty sad.



So far I only have two new flowers on my dirt garden tomatoes, at least most of the leaves are still green.  I’ve trimmed back all the dead leaves, so there’s not much left.  As you can see, I’ve kind of let the weeds grow up again, too.  It has been way too hot to be out there weeding the garden.   On my tower garden I have dozens of flowers and I counted 17 tomatoes and 7 peppers so far.

The peppers were my most successful plants in my traditional garden.  I harvested a bunch of hot banana peppers and a new pepper that I tried this year called a Cajun Bell.  They are pretty spicy, but really good.  The bell peppers have not done very well, I think I’ve harvested two and I have about four out there now.  I’m counting on my tower garden to come through on those.

In all I harvested about 3 dozen tomatoes from my traditional garden, and I had about twenty plants.  I have harvested nearly a dozen from the tower garden and I have seventeen more growing.  The only thing I’ve noticed is that it seems the growing time for the tower garden is longer than the traditional garden.  I did put the tower garden under my step daughters arch from her wedding since it was here and I didn’t want the hot Southern Virginia sun beating down on my tomatoes in the heat of the day.  Oh, I almost forgot!  My basil in the tower garden is still doing great as well.  I have to say my herbs that I grew in dirt this year have done very well.  Next year I plan to grow even more herbs since I have figured out how to grow them now.





I am really happy with my tower garden so far.  It has really been very little physical work at all.  I check it just about every day, mainly because I sit at the table right next to it every chance I get.  I check to make sure the water level is right, and I check the pH fairly regularly as well.  The tomatoes seem to like the higher pH but the peppers not so much.  It really is quite simple, even when I have to trim the roots back.  The only thing I’m wondering is how am I going to move this inside in the fall?  I’m tempted to build a screened porch that I can close up in the winter just to keep my tower garden growing all year!





Serious about my health

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I am pretty serious about my health, I always have been.  When I was young, maybe even as early as 5 years old, I started having headaches.  Back then there wasn’t a lot of information in our circle about migraines, but as I’ve gotten older I believe they were migraine headaches.  My mother has said that I would come inside from playing and lay on the couch and cry because my head would hurt so bad.  She would try to get me to stop crying because it only made it worse, but as a small child you can’t always understand how that works.  My mother and grandmother tried to research and find out what could be causing the headaches, they thought maybe allergies, but my grandmother passed away when I was 13 before really finding out what was causing my headaches.  We didn’t go to the doctor all the time, which I’m thankful for today, so we didn’t have a lot of tests done or take any prescriptions.  I remember taking Tylenol to school with me as early as 10 or 11 years old, just so I could get through the day.

When I was around 21 or 22, maybe even when I gave birth to my oldest son, my headaches seemed to lessen.  I had spent a good share of my teen years starving myself so that I could lose weight, so it’s very likely that nutrition had a part in causing the headaches.  As I got older, I noticed that certain times of the month the headaches would appear for a few days and it was my father who introduced me to Excedrin for Migraines.  I literally lived on that stuff for a while.  Fortunately for me, if I caught the headache early, the Excedrin would usually kick in (especially if I drank a cup of coffee with it) after about 30 minutes and I could feel sort of human.

I also struggled with joint pain from a very young age.  My paternal grandmother had crippling arthritis, so I guess I just assumed I was going to have arthritis as well, so I just accepted it.  I started taking ibuprofen on a pretty regular basis starting in my late teens.

Even though I was experiencing quite a bit of pain, I never liked the idea of taking prescription medication.  When I gave birth to my first son I planned to have him naturally, without any medication.  Unfortunately we had to have an emergency C-section so natural didn’t happen, but even when I came home from the hospital and they wanted to prescribe me something for pain I didn’t want to take it.  When I had both of my bunions removed at the same time they gave me some sort of pain prescription which I took the very first day.  It made me sleep so much I decided to stop taking it.  I have a hard time understanding how people can get addicted to something that just makes them sleep all the time.  I totally understand being so depressed that you would rather sleep, but I am just way too active for that.  Exercise definitely does more for me than sleeping does.


My point in all this is that I really hate prescription medicine for anything.  There are too many adverse side effects and most of the time you’re only masking the symptoms.  So, about a year ago I began researching a diet that would help with inflammation and pain so that I could live a life that reflected how young I feel, even if I’m not really that young. 🙂  The very best diet for inflammation, pain, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and many other ailments and diseases is a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and lean meats (preferably poultry and fish), nuts, grains and beans.  The Mediterranean diet is a great example of this type of diet.  I started trying to implement the Mediterranean diet as soon as possible, but I found it was really difficult to get enough fruits and vegetables in my diet.  I love fruits and vegetables, but I just couldn’t eat enough of them.

After I started eating more fruits and vegetables I noticed a change in my headaches.  I was getting them much less frequently.  Then I found Juice Plus.  Juice Plus is a capsule or a gummy that you take every day.  It is not a vitamin.  It is whole fruits and vegetables, including the skin and seeds.  This is a quote from an article I read today:

Research shows that 90% of a fruit’s or vegetable’s antioxidant power is in the peel or just below the skin. Does your supplement contain the peel, skin and pulp? More importantly, is it safe to take these isolated supplements in a pill rather than as part of the food they naturally occur in? Or could there be side effects from taking them in a way that is not natural to our body?

The naturally occurring compounds in whole foods allow the body to identify the nutrients, thus the body can use what it needs and discard or store any excess of the nutrients.

Since I started taking Juice Plus in April of this year, I can count on one hand how many migraines I’ve had.  The few headaches that I’ve had have been very mild and I think I have only taken Excedrin twice.  I have not taken any ibuprofen for pain in over 6 months.  For those who don’t know me very well, this might not seem like a very big deal, but I was taking ibuprofen every 4 hours while I was awake pretty much daily.  I no longer struggle with sciatica pain, I have minimal (almost non-existent) migraines, and very little joint pain.  I do occasionally have muscle pain related to zumba, walking or other exercise that I have implemented into my life to reduce the amount of time I am sitting at my desk.

I share all this with you because I believe in Juice Plus.  I believe in a healthy diet with exercise, and I believe that people can and should be healthy.  We can all take control of our own health if we really want to. It isn’t always easy.  I know trying to change our diets in the world of fast food and eating out more than we eat at home can be difficult.  If I had the money to open a fresh fast food restaurant I would do it in a minute.  We need more healthy options out there!  For now, I am going to keep telling people about Juice Plus and I’m going to keep buying it for my family, because I know it works!

fruits  smoothies

If you want more information about the health benefits of Juice Plus, including helping with symptoms from chemo therapy and other cancer related side effects, check out my website at m-t4.juiceplus.com or email me at lifestylemuse.net with any questions you may have.


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caboose left

It seems to be a common theme lately in the things I’ve been reading that we just have to learn to live in today.  I think all of our lives we’re taught to plan for the future in one way or another.  From the time we are born our parents are thinking way ahead so they can help us figure out what we’re supposed to do with the rest or our lives.  When we are in school, we wish time would go by faster so we can get home and play, watch tv, play video games, or talk to our friends.  When we are at work, unless we really love our jobs, we’re wishing we could get home to do all those things we want to do at home.

Looking back I have found that most stages of my life I have wished I could be at a different stage.  Especially when I’m going through something really difficult, I wish it would pass, I wish for better days, hope for things to improve.  The problem with that view of life is that we are always looking for something else, something other than what we have right now.  The truth is, all we have is right now.  There is no guarantee that tomorrow will even come, but we wish for things, hope for things and dream about what could be.  Obviously, dreaming, hoping and believing are a very necessary and important part of life.  The problem comes in when we don’t take care of today, because we’re too busy worrying about, or planning for tomorrow.

I can remember when my first husband and I were struggling financially.  I had a budget figured out that would help us get out of debt and hopefully save some money.  Each week I would look at the bills that needed to be paid and figure out how much of the paycheck had to go to each bill.  All week long I waited for that paycheck so I could pay those bills and mark one more thing of my list.  Then payday would come, I would go to the bank, pay the bills and get a few groceries and then I would start waiting for the next paycheck.  It was a sad routine, not one I would wish on anyone.

Its easy to tell someone to stop trying to live in the future and live in today, but its a little harder to actually do it.  We need to make some plans, have some goals and dream about the future, we just can’t live there.  If you have kids, you know how hard it is not to be thinking way into the future and trying to figure out how to help them get where they (or maybe just we) want to go.

I’ll be honest with you.  I haven’t mastered this living in today yet.  I’m still working on it, and I have to keep reminding myself to do it.  I like making lists and marking things off, I like setting goals and reaching them, and I like having a plan, but more than that I want to actually enjoy the little unplanned things that happen.  Like selling my car yesterday after trying for over a year with no success.  Now I have to find another car a little quicker than I anticipated, but I am looking forward to enjoying the experience and trying not to rush it by.  Hopefully I will even find a car that I really like, so I don’t keep wishing for a different one.

My youngest son will be a junior in high school this fall and I distinctly remember wishing he would get out of the terrible twos!  Now I find myself wishing he would slow down a little.  I think as we get older, we all wish things would slow down a little.  My best advice is, try to enjoy today.  Try not to numb yourself to the problems, or the pain or the difficulties.  Try to learn from them the best you can and experience everything life has for you.  The more you learn to accept that today is all you really have, the easier it will be to actually enjoy it and the easier it will be to let other people enjoy it, too. Let your kids be kids today, learn to laugh at the silly things that they find funny.    Let yourself live and feel and experience every moment that comes to you.  If you don’t like how things are going, figure out how to change it.  If you do like how your life is going right now, find a way to keep things that way.

Most of all, take care of yourself today.  Do the things today that will help make you healthier, stronger, happier and wiser.  Read that book you’ve been meaning to read.  Take that walk, or go buy that kayak you’ve been talking about.  Call that person you really want to talk to, but haven’t had the nerve to contact yet.  Do the very best thing you can for yourself today, and then tomorrow you can do it all again.


Iced Coffee & Relationships

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Some days I just wish things were easy.  Well, let’s be honest, most days I wish things were easy, but they rarely are easy.  It would have been easier to stop at Sheetz or McDonald’s (yuk) on my way home from work today instead of buying a bag of ice and coming home and making my own iced coffee.  I have figured out though, that I really prefer my own iced coffee and it’s much less expensive than most places.  I know it seems like a silly reference, but I love coffee, and especially iced coffee on a hot afternoon, so coffee it is.

My life right now is very mixed up.  I’m trying to learn as much as I can so I can help people learn how to live more healthy.  I’m trying to share about Juice Plus as often as I can so I can help as many people as I can to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet.  I’m trying to exercise myself, as well as teach other people how to get active and move more.  Even more than all that, in the last several years I have been trying to figure out who I am.  And now, in the midst of all this (and more), my marriage is seriously on the rocks.  My family is hurting and my husband and I are trying to figure out where we go from here, but more importantly, HOW we go from here.

I was talking to my sister yesterday and she said something that really stuck with me.  She said if you don’t know how, you can learn.  Seems so simple, but it’s true.   And to learn, sometimes you have to find someone smarter, or maybe just more experienced than you and be willing to learn from them. It’s hard to admit when you’ve allowed things to get so bad that you just don’t want to deal with them anymore.  It’s even harder to admit that you’ve known things were bad for a long time and you just weren’t willing to do what you needed to in order to make things right.  We all get that way sometimes.

Really everything in life can be related to our relationships and iced coffee.  When you let things go in a relationship, it starts to get unhealthy, but you don’t always get it taken care of right away.  Then eventually, things get so unhealthy that you wonder if you shouldn’t just scrap it and start over.  Lots of people have allowed their bodies to get to a point that they are unhealthy and they either don’t know how to get better or they’re not willing to make the changes it will take to get healthy again.  So, they go for the quick fix and get a prescription, hoping it will make them feel better, and for a while it does.  But eventually they realize they are spending a lot of money on medications that really aren’t fixing the problem, they are really only masking the symptoms.  Most people realize, even if they don’t want to admit it, that unless you get to the core problem, you’ll never really be healthy.  It’s true of your physical health and its true in the health or your relationships.  In both cases, it takes a lot of determination and dedication to make the changes that are necessary for healing.  In the case of relationships, all of the people involved really have to be committed to making changes or the relationship(s) will not survive.  Fortunately, when it comes to our bodies, we are the only ones who really have to be committed to making the changes.

How does all this relate to iced coffee?  Well, if I stop on my way home from work and get iced coffee from somewhere, nine times out of ten I’m going to be disappointed.  It takes a little more time and effort on my part to come home and make it myself, but it is so much better.  I am rarely ever disappointed in my own iced coffee.

Even at my age, I realize that I have a lot to learn about relationships.  I am still learning about myself, who I am, who I want to be, and where I’m going.  I am willing to take the time to learn more about how I can improve, what I need to do to have better relationships, and what it’s going to take for my marriage to survive what seems to be a major shipwreck.  I am also willing to learn what it’s going to take to be healthy, both physically and emotionally, and I’m willing to commit to doing what it takes.  I know it won’t be easy.  Sometimes I will probably feel like giving up, scrapping it and starting over, and I’ll probably feel like running away sometimes.  The truth is, there are lots of times in life that I have run away, scrapped it and started over and even quit, but the best results come from sticking with it, working hard, and seeing things through. It takes more work, but it really is better in the long run.

I know this is really kind of personal, but I think that sometimes we have to share who we really are with each other.  I don’t have it all together.  Sometimes I don’t eat right, some days I just don’t feel like exercising, and some days I’m not as nice as I wish I was, but I keep at it.  Sometimes it just helps to know that we are all in this together, and we can help encourage each other and try to be positive, even when things don’t look all that positive.  There is a writer that I follow, Glennon Doyle Melton, who says, “We can do hard things” and it’s true.  We CAN do hard things, especially if we do them together.

My tower garden

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This is my new Tower Garden!  I got it last week and I decided to document my progress in putting it together, planting the seeds and growing my own fresh vegetables.  When it comes, it’s in a very large box, but it’s not terribly heavy so you can move it around pretty well where you want it.

tower on table

This is everything that was in the Tower Garden box.  It looks like a lot, but it’s really pretty simple to put together.  I did it all in about 30 minutes or so.

tower set up

I will say it is a little bigger than I pictured, but still easy enough to move around and light enough to pick up and move myself if I need to.  I took it to a vendor fair last weekend and it wasn’t all that difficult to transport.


This is right after I planted the seeds.  I have them in the house to start with, after they get big enough I will put them in the tower garden and hopefully put them out on my front porch.


After only a few days, I already have sprouts!  Mostly the lettuces have sprouted, but I’m sure in just a few days my tomatoes and eggplant and peppers will be coming up as well!   As soon as they are big enough to transplant into the tower garden, I will post more pictures!!!

This past weekend, May 13, 2016, I worked on setting up my tower garden with the plants in it and got my raised garden weeded out and planted.

tower garden set up

It took me about an hour to get the water in the base, add the proper amount of minerals, and then test the ph and get it set up correctly.  Then just a few minutes to put the plants in the mesh pots and turn it on.  I tried to choose a spot in my front yard where it will get sun, but not too much of the hot afternoon sun.  Then, last night the temps got down to 34 degrees.  I’m hoping when I get home today my plants are still alive.  Also on Friday, I spent several hours getting the weeds out of my raised garden and then finally planting my raised garden.

full garden weeds

garden partially weeded

garden weeded

garden planted

For anyone who has ever prepared and planted a garden, you know just how much work it is.  It takes time and a lot of effort to get all the weeds out and then run the tiller one more time.  My husband usually does the tilling, but this time I really wanted to get the garden in on Friday, so I did it myself.  He makes it look a lot easier than it is, I can tell you that much.  The end result is that I have 36 plants in my raised garden.  I have 2 zucchini squash plants, 4 yellow squash, 3 different types of peppers (6 plants in all), one mini eggplant and the rest are tomatoes.  All of this is planted in approximately 160 square feet  of dirt.  I also have 20 plants in my tower garden (if they survived the cold last night) including eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and basil and the tower garden only takes up about 2 square feet.

I really enjoy getting out and working in the yard, I welcome the exercise, but I know there are some people who cannot get out and work in a garden.  And there are people who don’t have the space to grow a garden as well.  People in some states really struggle with being able to water their gardens, so quite often they don’t even try to grow their own food.  These situations are where the tower garden is so helpful.  The initial investment in water is only 20 gallons, and over time you will  need to add more a little at a time.  The investment in the tower garden itself may seem a little pricey at first, but when you can harvest all year it really does pay for itself.  I am looking forward to having fresh tomatoes growing in my house all year long, so I don’t have to buy those bland, flavorless tomatoes you get in the grocery store anymore. To find out more information about the tower garden, you can visit my website at m-t4.towergarden.com.

tg update

This is how my plants look today.  I did lose the original seedlings to the very cold night we had unexpectedly a couple of weeks ago.  I bought new plants at the farm market and washed all the dirt off the roots and planted them in the tower garden.  They are growing very well and I actually already have a tiny tomato growing already.  I can’t wait to see how quickly they grow.  My dirt garden is doing very well also! (May 30, 2016)

I thought it may be time for an update on the tower garden.  I spent a couple of hours the last two nights weeding my dirt garden and staking up my tomatoes.  I will say they have gotten a little out of hand.  Here in Southern Virginia it has been a little cooler the last two days so I was thankful for that, but it was still pretty hot.  I thought it would be funny to share that I spent several hours working on my dirt garden and then I spent about 10 minutes checking the ph on my tower garden (which was perfect, by the way) and looking over my plants.  The tower garden plants are not as thick as the ones in the garden, but they look very healthy and I have a few tomatoes already.

garden 1  garden 2

tower garden 1tower garden 2

I’m really looking forward to comparing the harvest when I start getting tomatoes and peppers.  My basil on the tower garden is looking really great!  I will have to discipline myself to count how many I get each time or I’ll forget to compare!  (updated 6/10/2016)