Finding your version of healthy

After last weeks mammoth sized blog post, I decided to scale it back and focus on the basics.

Defining the term “healthy” is one of the first things that I help Mom’s figure out.  We are constantly bombarded with messaging on what types of food to feed our children, our pets, ourselves, how often to exercise, what type of exercise, to fast or not to fast,  and the list goes on. It all can be quite overwhelming. And because we are constantly listening, reading, and watching different versions of healthy, we often don’t take the time to figure out our own version.

After having Lou, I had to reassess my own version of health. For about four months, getting out of the house with a newborn, Crocs and all, and walking around the block with my family was what I deemed healthy for myself. Was it hard to accept that this seemingly small amount of exercise was my workout for the time being? Of course. But I knew that doing what felt good and healthy in this particular stage of life was exactly what I needed.


Like all things in life, health is a balance of our emotional, physical and psychological well-being.  If one is off balance, all the others suffer as well. So take 15 minutes and write down what your definition of healthy is.  Or create a Pinterest board. Or a good ol’ fashioned mood board with magazine clippings. It really doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you identify what healthy looks like to you.  Then ask yourself if what you’ve created fits your lifestyle. Is it realistic? Is it in need of an update? Is it really healthy? Not sure, let’s talk.

Am I ready to work with a health coach?

As mom’s there never seems like a good time to do anything.  Shopping, showering, meal prepping, putting on makeup. Hell, it all seems hard!  I’m only three and a half years in and the word on the street is that our lives only get busier. Life is a series of stages, and I happen to help women who are in the thick of it. If any of the following scenarios sound familiar, give me a holler.  I can help to make your life easier.  

Pre contemplation

You stumbled upon this blog by complete accident while trying to order your kids’ school supplies on Amazon.  And quite honestly, you aren’t sure why you’re even reading it because your chronic fatigue and constant snacking is never going away, so why even try? 

How I can help:  Let’s just talk about your life for a second.  I want to hear about what you love to do, what you wish that you could do more of, what your kids are into these days, and what you like to do as a family.  Really! That’s it. After learning about how you and your family operate, I can help you realize that you are capable of change and how that change will positively impact you and your family.  



You’ve seen a few of my posts before, but this is the first one that you’ve taken the time and energy to read (good for you!) You recognized that you’ve used your busy schedule as an excuse to push your health to the side, and lately you’ve been feeling the repercussions. You’re short tempered with the kids, you’re too tired to be present with your partner, and you’re hungry all the time.  To think that this is how you’ll feel for the rest of your life is downright depressing, but you’re not sure how to make a change. 

How I can help:  Pull up a chair, friend.  Let’s talk about your lifestyle and how you’re feeling.  I want to hear about the good, the bad, what you’ve tried in the past, what you’re curious about, and most importantly, what your goals are.  But no pressure. You’re in the drivers seat, so there will be no cajoling, convincing, or bribing. I provide the tools, and together, we choose which ones are best for the job.



You’re ready to take action but you’ve spent way too much time picking out aspirational recipes on Pinterest. You even book marked a few insta workouts to pound out during nap time. But you haven’t quite figured out one of the most important pieces of the puzzle.  Consistency and relevancy. How do I put these ideas consistently into action? Also, how do I know what’s actually healthy?  All of these Instagram and Facebook headlines are confusing!

How I can help: Oh girl, I am so excited that you’re here!  We’re going to cover all the things. First we’re going to talk.  A lot. I want to learn about your past, present, and future nutrition goals. Next we’ll talk about why these goals are important to you. From there I have meal guides, shopping lists, and a bunch of hacks in the kitchen to help you on your way. The time is now!



You’re getting shit done, mama. You’re going to the gym, making meals at home, and making time for yourself. But something inside you tells you that this isn’t sustainable. That your plate is too full and you know that eventually one of the balls is going to drop. You’ve been here before and you don’t want to repeat the crash and burn out that’s inevitably going to happen. Plus, you’re not even sure if the meals and workouts that you’ve chosen align with your goals.

How I can help:  Congratulations on deciding to make your health and the health of your family a priority!  Now let’s make it fit your lifestyle in a way that’s sustainable. We’ll make sure that the food that you’re cooking serves you, your soul, and your family. We will acknowledge and thoughtfully trouble shoot any issues with the lifestyle changes that you’re making so that there’s no “falling off the wagon”.


Oh hey, you!  If you’re at this stage, that means that you’ve made the changes that you need and you’re feeling good! You’ve accomplished every small goal that you’ve set for yourself and the pennies are starting to add up.  Your reasons for becoming healthier are deeper than surface level. Sure, your clothes might be fitting better, but the best part is that you have energy!  You feel in control in the kitchen! You have a better relationship with food! And your kids and partner are starting to notice and feel the benefits.  

 How I can help:  After a few months of any behavior change is usually when the excitement and energy start to wane. If you’re on your own it’s easy to say, “okay, good enough”.  But my job is to keep things fresh to help you stay focused on that end goal. I’ll suggest new foods, recipes, and meals guides. We’ll talk about energy levels, sleep, and water intake.  Motivation, attitude and focus will also be talked about in order to make sure your whole self is in it to win it. Accountability is everything.


Well shit.  This isn’t fun any more.  You miss your old ways. You’re tired of thinking so much about all this health stuff and you just want to be done.  Besides, last week you ate your way through a bag of ruffles followed off by way too many Dove chocolates. You blame it on the cute little sayings on the inside of the package, but your real reason for indulging is because you’re so over potty training your almost three year old. So what’s the point of trying to start again.

 How I can help: If you haven’t already, you’re going to hit a roadblock.  You’re going to loose motivation and need someone to help remind you why making these changes are important.  I’ll be here to pick you back up, remind you of why you contacted me in the first place, and reassess your goals to make sure burn out doesn’t happen again.  I’ll be a consistent and friendly reminder to drink the extra glass of water, go to bed at a decent time, grab some carrots instead of chips, and ultimately, be a fully present mom to those little ones.

Girl, I get it. Life is hard right now. I’d love to help make your journey towards health a reality.

What exactly is a health coach again?

Photo Credit: Leslie Plesser of  Shuttersmack Photography

Photo Credit: Leslie Plesser of Shuttersmack Photography

When I tell people that I’m a health coach, I usually get a polite Minnesotan response like “oh, that’s interesting” quickly followed up with some comment about the weather.  Oh, Minnesota. The topics that we could cover if it weren’t for the atmospheric drama that you inevitable bestow upon us. See! It’s happening already! But back to the topic at hand.  My goal in writing this blog post is to clear up any confusion about what a health coach is and to share how health coaching could help make mealtimes a bit less stressful.

Let’s start with the word coach, which can conjure up a whole slew of images ranging from the intimidating high school football coach to your best friend’s dad who volunteered to coach your 5th grade soccer team.  No matter the type of coach, the good ones all have one thing in common; accountability. They’re there to celebrate the wins and to pick you up during the losses. They know when to have patience, compassion, and empathy while also knowing when to challenge, push, and raise expectations.  

I like to think of myself as more like that friendly dad coach, just without the pit stains and whistle.  Let’s get real… I have pit stains. Thank you natural deodorant. And instead of coaching 12 year old girls, I’m coaching driven Minneapolis women who want to be more effective parents through their nutrition.  Stay with me. Parenting is hard work. If you saw me after a day of hanging out with my two kiddos, you’d have thought that I just finished a triathalon. I’m sweaty, dirty and ready for an epsom salt bath.

Let’s just agree that parenting is hard work.  There are a lot of factors that play a role in becoming a great parent and role model for our kids, but one that I think is overlooked is nutrition.  Whether we like it or not, the food that we have in the house is a source of joy, stress, guilt, excitement, tears, laughter, tantrums, you name it! It also can make us feel tired, energized, light, sluggish, or just plain bad.  We have enough sources of stress in our lives. Don’t let food be one of them. Let me help.

Just like your favorite childhood coach, I start with the fundamentals -- goal setting, education, motivation, programming, support, and appropriate progressions to ensure that the nutrition focused behavior changes that we’re working will eventually become second nature.

Another way that I like to explain my health coaching business, is to tell people what it is not.

  • Personal training - While I am a certified group fitness instructor and I have training in physiology, I don’t create workouts for clients.  Instead, I’ll help you discover ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine using what you already know or directing you to fitness resources that fit your lifestyle.

  • Therapy  - Yes, there are a whole lot of emotions that are wrapped up in the food that we eat.  While aspects of psychology are used in health coaching, I am not equipped to provide therapy or counseling for larger mental health issues.  

  • A Beach Body program - Yes, at one point, for about 6 months, I was a Beach Body coach.  But I quickly realized that that business model wasn’t for me. I will never sell you anything other than my own services. 

There’s more that I could share on the general topic of health coaching, but I’ll save that for another day.  Still have questions? Need clarification on anything? Shoot me a message. I’ll be happy to clarify my services or answer any questions that you may have. And it only seems fitting to sign off with a good ‘ol rah rah, you can do it coach quote.  

When things change inside you, things change around you.

The struggle is real. And necessary.

You know what, you guys?  Creating a healthy lifestyle can be hard.  Our culture asks a lot of us.  Chill out, have a beer, and show off your 6-pack.  Don’t take life too seriously, live in the moment, and make sure you’re up to speed on whether or not coconut oil is healthy, because if you’re cooking with the wrong oil, off with your head!

It’s a never ending predicament out there, folks.  But that’s not even the point.  The point is that it’s hard; finding time to workout, going grocery shopping, meal planning, chopping vegetables, and doing the dishes, on repeat.  And if you’re not already doing it, the whole thing seems overwhelming and unattainable.  And don’t worry... I’m not about to ramble on about the top 10 ways to start being healthier.  I’m here to acknowledge your strife.  To say that the struggle is real.  And necessary. 

Struggle is required to propel us forward.  If we didn’t feel inadequate in some way or another, we’d all still be living in our parents house, watching full house in our PJs, and eating cereal for dinner without batting an eye.  Wanting, striving for, and working hard are just a part of life.  And it applies to your health endeavors too.  Saying no to the next round of drinks is going to suck sometimes.  Waking up at 5 AM to hit the gym isn’t going to be easy.  

But guess what.  We do it all for a reason.  To keep up with our kids.  To look good in our swimsuits (yes, vanity is real too).  And most importantly, to feel good.  So when you’re about to throw in the towel because it’s hard, just know that it’s supposed to be sometimes.  Also know, that it will get easier.  With every day that you put in the work, the easier it will be to eat the veggies, go to the gym, and chug the water.  And at some point, you’ll actually look forward to these things, not because of the number on the scale, but because you genuinely like the way that you feel.