The Wellness Way

I am a fitness professional, I train my body both with stress and rest, I track my macros, I sleep, I drink enough water, I follow all of the instructions of “what to do” and yet, I felt like health should be easier than what I have been doing. I was still not able to sleep, had gas, having a hard time breaking plateaus, carried a lot of information, brain fog and digestion problems.

In October of 2018 I jumped and I decided I wanted to take my health to the next level. I wanted to identify why my body was acting up and was not operating at its highest level. I had been visiting Integrated Functional Health in Bettendorf Ia. I had some dramatic improvements and shifts in my body by working with Matt DeWild and he recommended I look into the work that Dr. Stacey Wiley at Complete Balance Chiropractic was doing with The Wellness Way.

I dove right in.

Dr. Stacey is a chiropractor that works through a system call The Wellness Way. She is amazing, personable and understands the real life application of trying to heal from the inside out. This system starts with testing. She will not treat without doing testing. There are no guesses or adjustments to programming without looking at the data first.

I followed Matt’s instructions and emailed Dr. about what I was looking to heal. She personally got back to me in less than 6 hours and then asked me if I would rather text her. I got a phone appointment that next week and we talked through the testing kits she would have me do.

I had to have my blood drawn by a local lab and then I completed 4 stool samples and sent them off to the lab as instructed in the testing kit. It would take 1-4 weeks to get the results back from the two labs.

My blood results came back the following Monday and she immediately got in contact with me because the results show that i didn’t have an intolerance or allergies to food (which i had been tested for before), but i had the antibodies for 17 different foods. All of which I had consumed the weekend before.

Antigens:

Having the antigens for foods means that when I consume them my body believes that they are a virus and attacks them vs. warding off many of the other viruses that we come into contact with. (This explains the years and years and years of constantly becoming ill). I have been in a constant state of war.

The biggest hurdle would be switching up my routine to accommodate new foods and avoiding this list:

  • Almonds
  • Beef
  • Casein
  • Crab
  • Egg Whites
  • Egg Yolks
  • Lobster
  • Cows Milk
  • Mustard
  • Peas
  • Peanuts
  • Pork
  • Scallops
  • Sesame
  • Soybean
  • Tuna
  • Bakers Yeast

I tackled this head on and communicated with the people in my life so they would know how best to support me through this discovery and learning process. I got to play with this for 3 weeks prior to my other test results coming back.

At this time i met with Dr. Stacey in person and we would talk about the supplements to add my routine to help combat.

The remainder of my test results would reveal that I did not have a candida problem (had always been told that this was an an issue), but i didn’t have a high count for a different yeast in my intestines (dysbiotic flora). Some of the symptoms that I experience from this internal yeast infection include: inflammation, gas, cramping, normal disturbance, fatigue, ear infections, acne and brain fog. I also found out that my immune response is upgregulated the tissue in my GI track is normally the first immune barrier and mine was angry!

In December I started on a course of supplements to help start to tackle and bring my system better into balance. I still track my macros and eat all the foods but now these things are added in to help out. I have 2 courses of supplements I take when I wake up and when I go to bed and then every time I eat i take a few supplements to help break down the food and help start to tackle the yeast.

When I first eliminated the foods that were on my list I immediately began to notice differences. I am less puffy, I can sleep better, I have no gas, and I am able to focus better. Spiritually, a whole different connection to my mind/body experience is different and a lot of fun. The cheetah print on my skin has started to change. The spots on my arms would turn red or purple at least 1 time per week if not every day. For the past 3 weeks they have been white.

on my skin has started to change. The spots on my arms would turn red or purple at least 1 time per week if not every day. For the past 3 weeks they have been white.

I am not perfect with all the foods but I avoid my list 85% of the time. It takes time to look at labels but once I learned what things work for me I have been sticking to those items. Aldi has been the cleanest grocery story to find things at and Thrive Market online has been a savior.

The Wellness Way has clinics all over the country and I would recommend checking them out if you are curious of how to optimize your body. Going through the hard time to walk out on the other side healthier has been worth it. This journey is not over with and I will update you along the way.

How to save $20,000 Fast

Years and years of battling with student loans has come to to an conclusion. I am no where near done paying them off but I finally was able to find a lender that would consolidate all of my loans into 1. I went into college completely naive to what it was actually going to take and the fact that I would be renting my education for a minimum of what I thought would be 25+ years.

I went to a private art school for a while and then transferred to a major university in Wisconsin. I switched my degree about 5 times before I settled on Kinesiology with a business minor. I had to take summer sessions and winter sessions to get out in 5 years. I ended up with the maximum number of credits you could have before they actually start to charge you double for your classes.

All of this means I walked out with $70,000+ in student loans. I took as much as the federal government would allow but also had about 12 different mini loans through other vendors. I worked for a not-for-profit so money was tight and I needed a payment plan that would allow me to still eat some food. I chose the escalating plan. This means that every 2 years the amount I would pay towards the loans would increase. In the past year my loans have been sold to other vendors and the interest rates have doubled, and the amount I am paying has changed bi-monthly. I have been paying about $700 a month in student loans. This is why I say I literally rent my education. (I also always make a joke of… I can’t wait to see my mental capacity when I have access to 100% of it).

I have investigated over the past 8 years the best way to consolidate this and get these paid off as soon as possible and finally I was able to find a lender that would consolidate ALL of them, including my federal loans into 1 payment.

(Before you ask, I am not eligible for the federal forgiveness because I was under the minimum requirement).

https://www.lendkey.com/

Lendkey has been so amazing! The company is easy to work through, the process was informative and they called me when I needed more documentation. When I couldn’t understand what I needed exactly I called and talked an employee that confirmed what I needed and we laughed about the entire process.

Example of some of the documentation required.

In 1 week I was able to submit all the documentation, get approved and now I will be student loan FREE in 5 years. instead of 18!!! I will be saving a minimum of $20,000 in the duration of those student loans. It would have taken 7 years to payoff the loan at my previous payment amount. I decided to increase the amount I am paying each month by 20% so I can be finished in 5 years. This will save me an additional $2500 in interest.

I wish I would have found this company sooner and in result I wanted to share. If I can help 1 person, writing and sharing is worthwhile.

Author & Referral: Raschel Biagioli 

Wellness: Cheetah Print

For many years I have struggled with my health and wellness. From the outside I am put together, fit and “well”. The reality is that I have struggled. I have strugged with skin conditions, hormone inbalances, immune suppression, and digestive problems. I have spent close to $10,000 on testing, medications, doctor visitis and supplements. I have had all sorts of  diagnoses: gluten intollerance (which was then negated), candida, allergy to the female hormones, PMDD, high recommendation that I do not have children, and the list goes on.

About 5 years ago I was sick of everything and I quit going to doctors all together. I take care of myself and I figured my body would eventually just balance.

I experience highs, lows, frustration, saddness and insecurities. These are all symptoms you can’t see. From the time I was 12, I had a never ending menstrual cycle. To this day my hormones are all over the place, so I’ve chosen to go with an IUD.  Even with this, I still experience a cycle.

This year I have gone down the path of working to heal my life and try different experiements. My goal is to optimize my human performance in the gym and in my every day life. Personal development school, hiring coaches, trying new doctors and all sorts of things to live as long and as healhty as possible.

I can tell my gut health is not the best and I am consuming soemthing my body is adverse to because I have what I call “Cheetah Print”. You can see in this picture. There are some spots on my neck and chest. I call this my cheetah print.

The cheetah print covers most of my body. It changes colors depending on the time of year, the clothes I wear and things I eat. I’ve had them on and off most of my life. If I do a Candida cleanse, they can go away but that’s just as awful three months of just eating green beans, clay and protein.

I also recently learned that this is hereditary, a few of my aunts also have cheetah print. I’m lucky right now that it has not spread to my face. I do a lot of skin care because I have acne.

I experience a lot of anxiety and insecurities because of the spots. Ego sometimes takes over the human form and I just want the outside to match the inside.

I realize that the root cause is likely something I’m consuming. Now I and this platform are going on the journey of research, experiments and progress.

Here goes everything.

And so it is.

It is all in the context

BACKGROUND:

The reality is that I hate doing the dishes but I also use an insane amount of Tupperware during the week. When I get home every day from work I have about 3-5 bags with me that I dump in the living room. I don’t wash the table besides once a week. I wash my hair maybe 2-3 times per week and shave my legs probably 2 times per week. My kitchen is tiny and I live alone.

When I am around my friends they see the chaos and the mess in the kitchen but if you open the fridge it is organized AF!!!

I do chores throughout the week but typically wait for Friday night clean up all the dishes. And by Sunday the house is ready for another week of messes.

WHAT HAPPENED:

A relationship had developed from strictly fiends to potentially more. (It’s all in the context). He has only seen me as the hot mess friend. A whirlwind of dirty hair, gym clothes, Tupperware and an artistic flare. As soon as the context changed… I changed.

I walked into the house and found it in its typical messy insanity. Dishes everywhere and out of order.

In the context of friends… he had seen my house a mess and me in just sweats, wet hair and glasses.

Now in this new context of possibly moving the relationship from friends to potentially more the mess wasn’t presentable.

I walked in and there is a mound of dishes! I knew I didn’t have time to wash them so… this happened.

Yep… I shoved all the dishes underneath the sink. Then there were still more dishes so I filled my work cooler. I dry shaved my legs, put on clean clothes, took down my hair (this never happens), wiped down the table, shoved my work bags into a closet and started cooking for us.

It is amazing what you will do to look good in fear of looking bad. I am writing this and laughing at myself. I am committed to showing up as the real human. No more fear, just reality.

And so it is.

Fear is Excitement without Breath

I have been taking with a lot of people about fear recently and then a wonderful woman in my life talked about excitement and it all fell together. Fear is what holds us back and keeps us small. Our ego steps in whenever their is opportunity for growth and brings up the fears around that potential growth. You have to be able to take the leap, be unreasonable and trust that on the other side of fear will be growth and a world of wonder that you would have never dreamed possible.

Fear is healthy but also is an opportunity. Fear is what makes you act in actual unsafe situations. But, with practice you will be able to determine what is unsafe vs. what is ego.

Your natural fight or flight does not need to be activated all the time. Fight or flight is your entire system being in a state of excitement. Your senses are heightened and you are READY. In this situation you are without breath. You are only in action mode. In danger this is perfect because all you can do is act. When you start to feel this excitement I challenge you to take a breath.

Take a breath.

Bring yourself back into your body.

Question if you are actually in danger.

Question the way ego is keeping you small.

Question what would your life be like if you acted out of excitement vs. fear.

When you are ready to grow you will come RIGHT up to the edge of change. You will be in a state of excitement. Ego will step in and tell you all the reasons that you should not take the action to move on the other side of the line.

Ready for the real reflection?

All relationships are a mirror.

You may not be ready for it and when the relationship is going sour, it can be hard but you need to take a deep dive inside during these hard times so both people in the relationship can rise.

The universe will provide you each person who you need at exactly the right time in order for you to peel away a layer and understand more about yourself. You just have to be ready and willing to stare that mirror in the face until you can figure out what it is reflecting back on you.

You. You. You.

It all rolls back to you. Instead of point the finger at the other person, I recommend that you first need to start by pointing it at yourself. If you actually take this look inside you will see how or the ways you changed yourself during that relationship. What “little things” did that person do to you or what are the things that just drove you crazy? What were you not able to communicate? What were you not able to hear in what they were saying. What filter are you seeing them through. What blinders have you put on.

Examples:

When he/she said they want you to be honest no matter what, and then you just omitted some of the details, then you did not hear what they said.

I am not condoning violence or verbal abuse or any bad situations.

I want everyone to take a dive inside and REALLY look at yourself. How are you hearing people and what of your personal issues are you filtering conversations through?

Sometimes mirrors show up that you may not be ready for. If you are not ready to look yourself in the mirror in a pit-fall of a relationship, you will create the same issue inside a different one. (Sound familiar? “I just cant seem to meet a nice guy/girl?” “I only date bad guys/girls.” ) Sometimes when you wake up and realize it was you… then you can see people and old relationships through a whole new lens and possibility.

This work is hard. This work is meaningful but this hard, meaningful work on yourself will allow your relationships and your communication to soar.

There is so much opportunity if you are willing to be vulnerable and listen to your own stories you are see people live into. It takes two to tango and 50% of that relationship is you vs. 100% of what is being done “to you”.

Watch your patterns and see them and when someone asks you about them instead of becoming defensive really look at why things are stressing you out. It is an internal reflection that is there for you to choose.

I recently went through this with a partner. They wouldn’t respond to my calls or my messages. I had a bit of a melt down but then choose to look inside to see what was wrong with me. I couldn’t understand what I had done wrong to change them and push them away. After a few days, I was able to finally see later that the way I was acting was also pushing them away. When I go up into my head instead of just sharing with them I create the push away.

By me not sharing that they had not called me babe I was creating an emotional barrier of “I guess I am not good enough.” By sharing this vulnerability and need I opened myself up and shared how it affected me and then was able to get into their shoes and really support them through their own struggles. By sharing where my brain goes and telling them I was not feeling “good enough” we broke down a mirror and we are able to see eachother again.

The reason you see it in someone else is because you can see it inside yourself.

What reflections are you ready to see? What ones are you working on? Which ones keep showing up?

And so it is.

Don’t Should On Me

definition: should

SHo͝od,SHəd/

verb

1 1.
used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions.

Don’t should on me.

This is my life and this is my experience and I get to be the one who decides who, what, and where things happen. When someone is trying to force me to do something they they are judging where I am currently.

“You should not go to that bank.”

“You should not drink so much coffee.”

And worse yet, we do this to ourselves! I dare you to take note of your inner dialog. Dive in and really listen to the number of times that you say should to yourself in one day.

“I should go to the gym.

I should have gotten up at the first alarm.

I should get off the couch.”

Just, STOP.

Accept where you are, stop the shoulding and do something about it. There is and there is not. If you stop the judgment, the “ought to be” and just live in the moment you are free.

If you look at the definition of should you can see that it has a negative connotation and immediately causes you to put up a barrier. There’s no reason and there so many other ways to communicate with individuals and then with yourself. Be kind to yourself, know that exactly where you are today is exactly where you’re supposed to be. The things you are experiencing today are the things that you manifested and it is your time. You can’t go back so spending your time, mental space and energy in the past is just a waste.

When you stop “shoulding” on the people around you you set them free to live their best lives. You can recommend and ask “can I share with you what I would do?” This gives them the authorization to say yes or no, instead of spewing your own “shoulds” on them.

By removing should from your vocabulary, you have the freedom to live your life. You’ve removed any judgment or criticism of the past, and today. This is giving you the permission to just live and love.

I dare the next time someone says should, that you say don’t “should on me”. Watch their face and watch them analyzing.

Go live your best life.

And so it is.

Fear of Failure = Sabotage

It is amazing what fear does inside your head and how you act it out unconsciously to “keep you safe”.

I designed a meditation about fear to work through the “reasons” for why I have been sabotaging my own success in the arena of my body transformation.

I have come to a point along my transformation where people are starting to notice and comment about the changes. This is an uncomfortable feeling because it is uncharted territory. I know how to be mediocrely fit, super strong, kinda fluffy and “thick”. This fit girl is new and weird because I don’t know how to be her. I only have history to relate to and in the past when I was smaller I was sick, accomplishing weight loss through unhealthily doing cardio and eating erratically.

A few weeks ago my coach said to me, “You are going to be in the 160s in no time.” My mind freaked out. I don’t know how to be in the 160s. I have never even thought that was a possibility. I know how to do 170s pretty unsuccessfully but the 160s, NOPE. I am really good at 180 or more. This new territory is uncomfortable and my ego craved to go backwards into the comfortable. I began sabotaging my success. I know how to over eat. I was with family and friends which became the perfect outlet. “Because” they were all eating I didn’t want to be difficult I just did what I always do… eat all the food and not be accountable to it.

My craving and desire to be in control and to be comfortable was “fed” by doing things that I knew how to do.

  • I know how to be 180
  • I know how to eat all the food
  • I know how to feed the feelings instead of feel them.

Most of this was all happening unconsciously. I knew that I was eating, I knew I was not tracking it and I knew that it was not going to get me to my goal but WHY?

My need for security and control were so strong that I was willing to compromise everything, (Progress, integrity, possibility).

  1. A feeling is only a feeling. It is not what is actually happening.
  2. We assign meaning or a story to that feeling.
  3. We act as if the meanings and stories are actually happening to us.

In my case:

  1. I have been feeling uncomfortable in this new uncharted territory.
  2. The meaning I have assigned to these feelings: I will fail because it is what happened in the past. My friends and family will not accept this new me. I don’t deserve this success.
  3. The actions I have taken to get away from the uncomfortable and insecure feelings were to do everything that IS comfortable. Doing what is comfortable, eating and following and old success pattern satiated the need for security.

If there is no such thing as feelings then there is no such thing as security, and there is no such thing as uncomfortable.

I declare to be the cause in my life instead of creating because(s). Instead of getting stuck in the “what if” I am going to jump into the unreasonable.

Reason = Because

Action = [be]ing the cause

And so it is.

18 Week Transformation/Progress

I have done macro counting in the past but a big shift in my life made me reach out and hire a new coach. I joined Hybrid Performance Method Nutrition 18 weeks ago. I was blessed to be paired with coach Greg Sutton. With all the shit that has come up between work, rage, police departments, traveling and finally falling into a place of growth he has “stood” by my side and supported me to find the strength within. He changes me macros and makes me laugh weekly.

There is about an 18lb difference between these two pictures.

My current macros are: 165C | 48F | 175P | 25Fib

Things I’m consistent about during this process:

  1. Lift 5-6 days per week. I spend about 1-1.5 hours lifting in the evening after work.
  2. Do low intensity cardio 1-5 days per week either before work or in the form of short walks during my work day.
  3. Meditate daily.
  4. Get a massage once a month (I have been a member at Massage Envy for about 10 years).
  5. Currently see a chiropractor 1 time per week (recent injury in my hip/back). Cal, you have saved me!
  6. Drink a minimum of 150oz of water per day.
  7. Coffee! Every day!
  8. Pancakes a minimum of 1 day per week.
  9. Sleep 4-9 hours per night.
  10. . Find a way to play every day: (Reading, pulling cards, laughing, painting, good sex, cooking something new, listen to loud music, wear pretty underwear, plan a trip, call a friend you haven’t talk to in months, find a new meme and share it).

The joureny is not over and this transformation contines. Follow me today for workouts, funny stories, recipes and mindfullness.

To those who wait

Do not wait to have a conversation, to meet the girl, to talk to the boss. Know rarity and spark when you see it. I challenge everyone to act when your gut tells you to and don’t allow you head or your story to get in the way.

If you wait a year…

That is a year of meeting people. That is a year of YOU meeting people and a year of ME meeting people. If you didn’t take action when you first wanted to then that makes “me” a second thought.

It is not anyone else’s responsibility to take the initiative to have the conversation. If you blame someone else or a situation for not taking the initiative it will show that you actually were too weak or it just was not the right time.

If you know someone through a mutual friend, do not put the responsibility on them. Take action. Ask for that girls number, make that phone call, send that text message.

If you want that job, you have to make yourself different and put tools in your toolbelt to make you stand out. Find a mentor, read a book or watch a webinar. There is so much opportunity for you to set yourself apart and in the time we live in there is so much information and education all around us that you can empower yourself easily.

Be bold. Be different.

I am rare. I am driven. I am beautiful and I am powerful. It has taken me quite some time to know these qualities and not see them as hindrances. But in them, every day I find strength. I can lean on them and I know when I am down that they will lift me up. This stands true for both my work relationships, my family relationships, and my personal relationships.

These qualities now have become standard in my life. Only those who lift me up, make me smile, and push me to continue to rise will be in my life.

Those who wait, I will pass by. Those who wait, still have qualities, confidence and lessons that they’re questioning about themselves. I respect where everyone is in their own life but the people i invest time in are also shift, growing and learning.

I am not someone to sit and wait.

If someone chooses something in their life, respect that and they will respect you too. Do not challenge that decision, only question and support it. You will learn something from yourself in this.

Find and define your own rarity. Find and define your own drive. Be comfortable in both procrastination and excitement. In this moment, I call for you to take action. If it’s making that relationship work, lifting those weights or applying for that job; make a move.

You are worth your dreams. Please don’t wait. I challenge you now to recognize and believe in your own procrastination and drive.

In rest is beauty it is time to dive inside sort some things out and define exactly what you want. In that time you can create a plan can be formed to initiate the drive.

Do not wait.

You are worth that jump, that leap, but you must see the rarity around you. Allow that rarity that you see to echo the rarity within.

And so it is.