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Wow! Clearly I haven’t blogged in a while!  2015 was my last post!  CRAZY!  Well who knows if this will be a first of many or the last:-)

I have hesitated in writing this post, because, I am in no way a doctor, I have no intention of helping someone self diagnose, etc.  BUT, I wanted to share my story, somewhere, so here it is.

Some of you have been around since my running journey began, some have been here at the start of my whole food, real food journey, and watched my food choices evolve over the years.  My love of a good burger and fries hasn’t changed, but that burger and fries looks a little different these days!  I’ve been eating “Whole Foods” and relatively healthy for several years.  Most people would have though my diet was great, and I was doing a great job of fueling my body.  Maybe I was at the time, although looking back, I would tell you I always had stomach issues.  Not debilitating, but I thought it was normal to feel terrible after a good meal:-). And my digestion was SLOW, uncomfortable and definitely not in the optimal category!  But I had NO idea!  I did however have blood tests the few times I made it to my annual physical that showed some “interesting” numbers.  One being my cholesterol.  It was always over 200, around 215, BUT my ratio was good and it runs in my family so I always just wrote it off to genetics.

Then we moved to Auburn, Daniel turned 4, and my hormones went CRAZY!  It hurt to workout, I didn’t want to be with anyone, and yet I felt utterly alone.  I decided I needed help!  I had also had another physical, and my numbers were not so great. My cholesterol was about where it always was, my iron was LOW, Vitamin D LOW, and I had some funky blood counts that I was told didn’t really mean anything given I wasn’t having other symptoms.

SO, I found an AMAZING local naturopath(turned friend), and explained to her that I felt like a crazy person!  She was able to help me with some supplements, and I felt like a normal person again.  We talked about diet, but when I told her what we ate(it was summer, veggies were abundant:-) and comfort food doesn’t sound good in the heat:-)) we decided I was doing ok there.

Fast forward to January 2016 after India, and our hospital visits, and life’s craziness I was having some health issues that I wanted to address, and I was TIRED, all.the.time, I never would have told you I was chronically bloated, but I was.  I had no drive, no motivation, I had periods of racing heartbeat, and I just didn’t feel good. I was working out, doing what you are supposed to, but my body was depleted.  So I went into my naturopath, she ran some tests, and the results showed, inflammation, and not the good kind of high cholesterol to have as well as other deficiency’s.  I wasn’t in immediate danger, but my numbers indicated I was at risk for developing problems later, and I could be better.

So she said the words I was TERRIFIED of, “Why don’t you try an elimination diet.”  I said, “What do you mean by elimination diet?  What do I have to give up?”  Mind you, I pretty much was considering this already, as I had researched Paleo, the Virgin Diet, and various others, but I had quickly dismissed them because, I WAS NOT WILLING TO GIVE UP CHEESE, BREAD, AND COFFEE for any amount of time!  So she gave me the list, sugar, gluten, dairy, soy(which I mostly avoided already…or so I thought!), coffee, alcohol, corn, white potato, AND anything I ate everyday, SO that added eggs, turkey meat, and some other things I probably can’t remember now.  I believe my first response was, “So what CAN I eat? Like for breakfast?  I can’t have eggs, or oatmeal, or gluten, so???”  She recommended a vegan protein shake, or some non gluten grains like Teff(not my fave), or quinoa(which became my go to).  SO I told her I was going to die without my bread and cheese, but I would try it.  I am sure she was laughing at me, but she loves me so she didn’t say anything!

I went home, told Tom and probably WHINED a lot!  But, of course, I LOVE food, I LOVE challenges, I LOVE to cook and I wanted to feel better!  So I spent time on Pinterest, and spent some time researching food, etc.  And soon I was excited to try some new recipes.  I still was skeptical about breakfast! I shared my food pics on Facebook, and away I went!  Turns out breakfast doesn’t have to look that much different from other meals:-). I found protein, veggies, and greens, yummy and satisfying in the morning!  I kept my one cup of coffee in, because I did.  And within DAYS I felt like a NEW person!  I kid you not, I am pretty sure I had told Dr. Cari MANY times my digestion was fine, IT WAS NOT. Because I all of the sudden felt like you were supposed to after meals.  I wasn’t sleepy immediately after eating, I didn’t feel bloated, only satiated.  It was LIFE changing!  And I LOVED the half an avocado I was supposed to eat daily, in fact avocado has become my cheese!  AND I DON’T MISS CHEESE! (Well ok, maybe a good Humboldt Fog, or creamy Brie) but I can TOTALLY live without it! The removal bread actually was a non event and most gluten free options didn’t satisfy, so I wasn’t missing it, except when I was tired and we were busy and picking up a pizza would have been super easy!

Obviously, everyone I see daily or on a regular basis was hearing me share about this amazing journey I was on!  But, most people responded with, “That’s crazy! I could NEVER do that!”  I am known amongst friends as a foodie, and someone who spends more time than normal, or than most people have, researching, prepping, and cooking food, which may be partially true, but my life is busy too and I fit it in/look for quick options as well!  I have tried “cheating” but it didn’t go well.  I am now that person who asks a million questions at restaurants, who needs a special meal at events, etc.  But if I don’t do it I pay for DAYS, so its worth the trouble.  Anyway, you can probably guess that not too many people joined my elimination diet bandwagon, but some have listened and did their own gluten free elimination, or other things and have had great results:-). I don’t believe EVERYONE needs to be gluten and dairy free, but I do believe in a nutritional reset or Detox if you will is great, and that a lot of us are suffering and don’t realize it.

I couldn’t have done all my triathlon training without this shift in the way I was fueling my body, I just wouldn’t have felt good, and I would have missed many workouts due to fatigue, and tummy issues!  So even though I missed my tri, I still entered my 40’s in the BEST shape of my life!  I didn’t need to lose weight 18 months ago, but I apparently did need to lose some bloat and my body has settled into what I guess is it’s ideal weight, considering the scale doesn’t budge, no matter how much I eat, if I’ve overindulged in gluten free, dairy free desserts:-) or wine, or even beer or workout…And my clothes fit SO much better!  I used to count calories, now I eat A LOT and I feel great!

SO why this LONG post(thanks for reading all the way through), I recently went in for my long OVERDUE physical with a traditional doctor, AND for the first time in a while(with the exception of Dr. Cari’s tests which showed everything moving in the right direction) I had COMPLETELY normal blood work!  Not one level was outside of the normal range! My cholesterol…was 159!!!! Down 66 points from my “normal”!  It’s been steadily dropping for the past 18 months or so, but wow that is HUGE!!!  So there you have it, not only do I feel amazing!  But the numbers are there to show that I have reversed my “red flag” numbers:-). I’m super excited!  I am now fully gluten and dairy free, and mostly soy free (there are still a few things I eat that have it buried way in the ingredients).  But most of the other things have been added back in with no problem!  I do occasionally do a corn fast because, in reality corn does not do my body good, but my family loves corn chips, corn salsa, and sometimes I like a corn tortilla.

***A little less than a year ago I was introduced to Arbonne, my good friend is a consultant, and we met up for lunch.  I LOVED the skincare, but was hesitant to try their nutrition.  I knew it was gluten free and vegan, as well as free from GMO’s and soy, but I am naturally a skeptic, so I just thought it couldn’t be THAT good.  In doing a little of my own research, I found the ingredients to be very similar to the vegan protein I was already using, so I became a little less skeptical:-)

So I tried some, maybe about 6 months ago…I was SUPER happy to have this support with my new way of life, and my now permanent(for now) way of eating. I use the products daily and recently did the actual complete detox, it was such a great reset!  The shakes are yummy, and full of vegan protein, as well as other vitamins and minerals, I add in a scoop of greens, which gives me a rainbow of nutrients, and fiber along with a healthy fat, and some fruit, which makes it a yummy meal.  The probiotics are SUPER powerful and have really helped me and Tom!  We LOVE the energy Fizz for a non sugary, non crashing pick me up! All the products have been incorporated into our life, and we really enjoy having safe, plant based nutrition that is quick and easy, and safe for me!  I have recently switched all my sports nutrition over to their Phytosport line as well I have been super happy with how it works and makes me feel, and I have had NO tummy upset, which is not the case with most sports nutrition!  My kids use the hydration sticks instead of gatorade;-)

I would never tell someone not to visit their doctor, for a health issue, and this is just my experience.  But, I do believe food can heal, and I have seen amazing results for others on the Arbonne Detox and healthy living program.  I am SUPER passionate about helping people who need a reset, to get the support, and some safe yummy products to make the detox, or new way of looking at food, easier and enjoyable:-). I think the 30 day Detox gives people who look at me like I am crazy, and feel like they can’t do what I do, a feasible plan, with lots of support, recipes, and tricks for getting this done, amidst working full time, kids crazy schedules, school, etc.  Which is so great, because I think it can help a lot of people feel better and get back on track with their health!  I did this alone, but now I know I could have had support, recipes, and Energy FIZZ to help;-). And like I said I use these products regularly, for our whole family!  I loved it so much I jumped on board and became a consultant!  I have learned SO much about the company since February, and have fallen in love with the people and the company itself, aside from the great products! I am part of a GREAT team!  I am excited to see how this opportunity to share products and this business will provide new opportunities for the ministries, God has and will put on our hearts:-)



The weeks are flying by!  I hope you, my readers are enjoying our story as it unfolds week by week in an image a day:-)  This week feels totally random!  We have the moon, a cross, a baptism, mud, Christmas products;-) paint nights and TREES!!!!!!!!  A full but definitely random week;-)LSP365_35
240|365365_240_BlogI was already in bed, and all of the sudden I hear Tom taking pictures outside…SO I joined him, and we had fun trying to capture it together.  He wanted t capture the rings around it, while I wanted to capture the detail…I may at a later date, combine the two to get the best of both worlds;-)


This block was on our property, it was only just the other day that I realized it had a cross in it!  I knew I had to capture it…

242|365365_242_BlogOne of the ladies who went to India with us, publicly dedicated her life to following Christ, at a baptism at the river.  We were blessed to join in the celebration!  Good stuff!


Mud + Boys…Apparently Daniel feel into one of the tree holes that was filled with water!  I don’t let him in the house like this, so they strip and get hosed off…I promised there would be no unmentionables shown in the image;-)

244|365365_244_BlogPhotographing products today;-)  We have always given ornaments to our family for Christmas, it’s a tradition, and I AM loving these new ones I have found from a favorite ProLab…I am excited to offer them to clients!

245|365365_245_BlogTonight I went to another paint night, this time with friends and the kids teachers who have become friends, it was a lot of fun, but I do have to say my perfectionist kicked in, and it was also stressful!  Just being honest;-)

246|365365_246_BlogWe got trees to line our driveway!  SO excited!  I cannot wait for them to be big, AND For the fall color they will provide! Our ranch is coming along!

Thanks for reading about our life:-)



It’s week 34|52…WHAT?!?! only 18 weeks left in the year!  Crazy!  This week, was about the trees, and doing a little bit of decorating!  It also included a race and a visit from a dear friend, who helped with the decorating;-)



365_233_BlogTHIS guy live for the weekends just so he can do this, all day everyday!  He comes home from school, and does this…much to his little brother’s dismay!


We are finally planting the trees we already have, and have been watering in pots for a year I believe!

235|365365_235_BlogEven though the trees are small I think they look GREAT!

236|365365_236_BlogWe have A LOT of rock on or property which means planting these trees are hard work, at least for Tom:-)  At least the rock seems to drain, SO hopefully the trees will grow big and strong.

365_237_BlogMy friend Jana visited and helped us hang some photos, as well as helped us pick out barstools and rugs!  It was great to visit and get some things done!

238|365365_238_BlogMy husband cooks for me:-)

239|365365_239_BlogThis is what he cooks for me…my last meal before I start a challenge;-)  Actually I am not super hard core with eating, I try to work out harder to allow some splurges, I LOVE food way too much to deny myself!

Thanks for reading about our life:-)



Daniel just started the first grade.  His teacher sent home a questionnaire so that she could get to know the kids better. One question was: “what is your child’s most favorite thing.”  I asked Daniel and he answered, “Mom you know, it’s Doggie!”  I should have known.  Daniel and his Doggie are really never far apart.  He travels with us, sleeps with him, and is the first thing he looks for when he is feeling sad, unsure, scared, or gets in trouble.  I never would have thought when we bought that for him, he was about a year old I believe, that this Doggie would become so important to him.


The other night, while putting him to bed, he was tired but restless, which means when I am laying with him he chats it up, and climbs all over me.  Usually, I enjoy the chatting for a while and then enforce bedtime.  I am pretty strict about bedtime, my boys need sleep!  BUT tonight he was talking and cuddling Doggie, and the light, the light caught my eye!  So I told him to go grab my camera, and then I just let him get back into the snuggling and chatting, and I caught this.  These images are amongst my favorite captured lately and maybe even ever of this boy and his Doggie.  He is a sweetie, a cuddler, and a talker, and I adore him:-).150819_03_Blog

I am a little frightened about what happens when Doggie deteriorates, or starts really falling apart.  But, we will cross that bridge when it comes…Everytime we visit IKEA, I think about buying a new one…but they are never the same…150819_04_Blog

  • August 28, 2015 - 9:43 am

    amber - There should be a group online for everyone who loves that puppy. It’s Axel’s favorite thing too. I restuffed him a while back, after warning him that I didn’t think he would like it. After a week, he asked me to take the stuffing out. Puppy just wasn’t the same. I know another lady whose son has the same dog (the smaller version like Axel’s). It’s his everywhere companion too. Who would have thought a cheap, IKEA stuffed animal would be so loved. I like that our kids have similar naming strategies.ReplyCancel

    • August 28, 2015 - 11:16 am

      Anna Robertson - Amber, He had his Grandmere add stuffing, so far he loves it, she didn’t put too much in. Sometimes I wish we had gotten the smaller version;-) Although because he is so floppy he fits in a suitcase:-) :-)ReplyCancel