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.

Fear and Love

“Love never brings fear, for fear is always related to punishment. But love’s perfection drives the fear of punishment far from our hearts. Whoever walks constantly afraid of punishment has not reached loves perfection.”
1 John 4:18

What is it you’re afraid of? What has you awoken at night or stressed during the day? What brings your soul anxiety?

Fear and love cannot be mixed together. They are like oil and water. They don’t mix. Could it be, that the fear you feel is just a place where love is not?

What if instead of fear, stress, anxiety, you delve into the realm of complete love knowing that you are in fact, a beautiful soul who is worthy of such love? knowing that, before you ever do anything good or right, you are loved? Knowing that you do not have to do anything, or be anything, that just as you are, right in this very moment, you are loved. You are perfect. There is no ifs, ands, or buts. There is no maybe later I can be deserving of love. there is no, if I get it right next time I will be deserving of love. These are all expectations we place upon ourselves to create the illusion that we can control who and what will love us when… When we are ready to love ourselves. Fully.

What if we took the areas in our life that are incomplete and we engulfed those areas in love? What would happen? Even the areas of our life we don’t like. Our procrastination, our doubt, our sickness, our hurt we wish would go away … Could we choose to own it. Own our doubt. Own our procrastination. Own our sickness and choose it. Not allowing ourselves to be victim of our circumstances but instead, taking ownership for the reality we see.

And still loving ourselves through that.

Could we possibly become fearless when we consume our hearts and lives in all the utterly gross places of ourselves that no one else knows, could we then choose love?

In choosing love, fear has no place.

Complete. Beautiful. Ownership. Fearless. Love.

Resolution vs. Intention

It is now the time to begin moving beyond the source of setting a resolution. Resolution is an acknowledgment that something is wrong if not good enough with the current pot present state. If the moment is perfect and you cannot change the now then you can only move forward. In the moving forward is the ability to set an an intention. Intention is the ability tans the outlook that you want something more. That you intent to create a new owls and that there is a possibility that you currently are not living into. Intention has a positive undying tone vs. resolution which is caring the past into the future. Interior is about seating yourself free and saying now. Now is the time and now again and that you intend to show up differently.

Set intention not resolutions because there is nothing wrong with the past and you are able to set yourself free from the way of being that you once were and you no long need to carry that experience from your childhood or last week into your future.

Your way of being was built as a protective mechanism so you would not have to feel like something was wrong, you were not good enough, your on your own and that you don’t belong. These beliefs no longer serve who you are becoming.

Setting an intention is being free to create your life as possibility.

Setting an intention is having integrity with the current situation.

Setting an intention is knowing that the universe will guide the path for your greatest growth. You may not know the how but you can create the “what”.

You get to be the one that explores the light between each. The path may not be of least resistance but it will be perfectly set up for you to grow the most and become who the universe has set for you to become.

And so it is.

Love Knows No Bounds

Love is like an open hand filled with Play Dough.

The Play Dough can take any shape it wants in an open hand. It can take the shape of heart, pet, house, friendship but it knows no bounds in an open hand. It can spread and it can grow. It can be thick and thin.

Love, like an open hand of Play Dough, knows no bounds, beginning or and end. If you allow it to “just be” it then it will continue to grow.

Love doesn’t know restrictions or space.

When you put restrictions on it and start to close your hand it seeps out in all the spaces you don’t want it.

Just like you do not love one child more than another, you cannot force another person to love in one way. You cannot control their love and you cannot force them to start or stop. When you begin to try to mold love it comes out in all the spaces you don’t want to.

If a relationship ends, the love does not end. The relationship changes and the love continues.

Love is in a friendship, it is in the heart of a pet and it touches us. If you are able to accept love for all that it is and all that it isn’t, then love knows no bounds.

And so it is.

Top 5: Online Dating Tips to “Hook” the One

These are 5 things that will help set your online dating profile apart for the mediocre and help you communicate who you are through the screen.

I was on vacation alone in Fort Lauderdale, FL (I do this every other year) and I decided to take myself to dinner. I put on a favorite dress and a pair of new pink flip-flops and allowed Google to give me walking directions to a restaurant on the causeway.

The staff seated me on the dock at The Pirates Republic while the owner of the restaurant suggested a meal for me. My back was facing towards the restaurant and I sat in peace, drink in hand, watching the sun set over the water.

My time alone turned into a dateless date when three hilarious gentleman were seated behind me. I could tell by their voices that they were in the age range of 55-65 and then then one of their son’s who was 20 joined them.

Information Gathered:

  • Man A: In a relationship with a woman from Michigan and happy, had experience dating online, had been on 52 different coffee dates and owns his own yachting company.
  • Man B: The father of the 20 year old,  currently on Match.com, having a hard time finding someone, owns a construction roofing business. Felt like women only showing pictures of them in exotic places is fake. He felt like he had “thrown back” some of the good fish to keep some bad. He is convinced that Midwest girls are sweet and yet hard working.
  • Son: Working as a roofer and was out of his previous relationship but still talked to his ex girlfriend every day. Convinced that girls from Wisconsin are crazy.

As the evening evolved these three made me laugh and their advice to each other and conversation were pure GOLD. Man A was trying to give advice to Man B about what to do with his Match.com profile to get him to stand out.  The three decided that you shouldn’t marry someone unless you’ve been together for 5 years and been living together for 18 months.

I paid for my meal. I got up to leave and finally got to turn around to see the faces of the three men. I thanked them for making my evening very entertaining.

I told Man A that I had double the number of first dates that he had been on. They were so intrigued, they asked me to join them. I confirmed and suggested to all three that coffee dates are the perfect way to meet someone. You can tell if they are interest within the first 5 minutes, so there is no reason to spend more than $5.

To Man B, I began to describe the   “big 5” that I suggested he needed to include in his dating profile.

These are my 5 things to include in your profile:

  1. A non negotiable
  2. Something that you do daily
  3. How to describe you personality
  4. Something you hate/strongly dislike
  5. Something that will make them think or research.

I described to the group how I would have put these into practice.

  1. I would include that fitness is a non negotiable, but the way I would describe this in my profile is bold and direct.  “I workout daily and if you don’t currently lift I’m likely stronger than you. I am also a personal trainer but not yours.” This describes that I mean business and that I am not interested in adding clients.
  2. “I meditate daily.” This describes that this is a huge part of my life and if it doesn’t match their view point it could be a point of contention in the long run.
  3. “You could describe my personality as Jameson on the rocks.” I wouldn’t say why but this leaves it as a conversation starter. I asked someone how they would describe me and this was PERFECT so, I ran with it. I suggest you talk to a sibling or a best friend and see what they say.
  4. “I HATE the dishes.” I think this is not only funny but starts a relationship/conversation with a new light. This is something you know about yourself and at some point you are going to be able to say, “Remember in my online profile, when I said i hated _____, I wasn’t kidding.”
  5. “RFFYM, and I cook accordingly.” This stands for Real Food Fits Your Macros. If someone didn’t know this expression they would have to look it up but also would get a good idea about how I eat and that I can cook. If they get to this point and they actually research the topic… they are probably pretty interested and are likely to start up a conversation.

Overall there are plenty of things that you can include but setting yourself apart from the masses will allow you to sort out the individuals that are not actually interested. I also suggested that you talk about yourself vs. what you’re looking for.

If they don’t like what you have to say then it doesn’t matter if they can keep up. Don’t be general, be specific so both of you can move past the “fluff.”

I quickly helped Man B talk through some starting points. He started with this list:

  1. He likes someone shorter than him.
  2. He likes a Midwest girl because he feels like they are hard working and sweet.
  3. He likes to travel but appreciates more of the adventurous spirit vs. the lavish.
  4. He loves to spend time with his kids.
  5. Dating is expensive
  6. Work around the house is something he enjoyed.
  7. Enjoyed his construction company

This list turned into the following

  1. A non negotiable
    • My kids come first.
  2. Something that you do daily.
    • Construction is my life; I am always looking at the way things are built or the next project.
  3. How to describe you personality
    • You can describe my personality as a 6′ gentle giant. (This way he could talk about how he is kind but also likes someone that is a bit shorter than him).
  4. Something you hate/strongly dislike
    • I hate lavish meet ups that don’t go anywhere. Let’s actually go somewhere, coffee and a stroll or drive. You pick the spot.
  5. Something that will make them think or research.
    • Favorite Midwest City is Chicago.

I made sure they knew that they needed to set standards for both themselves and a partner. Take a serious look at their online profiles and don’t just say “Hey”. She is never going to respond if that’s all you say.

I feel like the few minutes I spent with them made an impact and they not only laughed but also will take a serious look at their online profiles.  Be strong, have conviction and don’t settle.

Prior to leaving, I looked at the son and said. “I am from Wisconsin, we are not all crazy.”

Featured Photo: Jameson on the rocks, a whole red snapper at the Pirates Republic in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The atmosphere is relaxed, the food is fantastic and the staff are top notch! I recommend everyone check this place out!

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.

My dad’s girlfriend died

Absence is an opening that envelopes me.

The breathe I have is shallow and pained

The tears are warm but filled is gratitude.

The strength of your children feeds my steps.

The stories are ours to keep.

Grab my hand, hold my heart.

The darkness is dulled through the joy you gave us.

4 years ago my parents split. This was a very strange time in my life. It seems as if I had never really seen my parents in the same room on purpose, so I was not really surprised but they had been together for 35+ years. My mom wanted something different and my dad was heart broken.

After the divorce was final, dad quickly was introduced by a co-worker to Debbie. They were inseparable. This was also another new strange sensation because the time that my dad didn’t spend with mom, he had spent with me. I was 28 and my best friend had found a new best friend. Moving forward he always came with a companion.

After 4 years Debbie passed of brain cancer.

Earlier this year, I was frustrated with Debbie and her unwillingness to allow me to see her. I only wanted to love her and help her through this time of pain. Instead of staying in the frustration or the story I told myself about her condition, I called her for the first time and got to talk to her about how much appreciation I had for her. She was the woman that stood by my dad’s side, took him in and put up with all of his quirks. This was the last time I would be able to talk to her and I’m so glad I was able to put everything to the side and just talk to her.

I have pure gratitude for her life and her children. She really loved my dad, just for him. She was his friend and couldn’t wait to spend every moment with him. I can only hope to find this kind of friend/love in my life time. Her children have taken my dad into their lives and taken care of him. I can’t believe their strength and how much they have impacted my lives. I didn’t sign up for extra siblings but I’m sure glad someone put my name on that list. She’s their strength, genuine kindness and pain through this time has made me proud to welcome them in.

To Debbie and Family:

Thank you for always standing by my father’s side and welcoming me in. When my “flame” may have dulled, you and my family/community have stood for me and knew that blowing some air, adding some kindling or dousing me with gasoline would bring me back. Life is so bittersweet and thank you so much for allowing me to share my life with you. Each of you have added to my story and I am so proud to be a part of this “common-unity.”

And so it is.