3 Ways to Create a NEW Habit

Something funny happened the other morning.  My routine is pretty much the same every day.  I put my daughter on the bus and then head right over to the gym.  A couple of mornings ago like always I dropped my little one off, jumped in my car and 7 minutes later I was pulling into the parking lot of my gym.  The only problem was that I was expected somewhere else!!! My habit took over and without me even thinking it took me down a path I had always followed. Well I made my appointment (though about 7 minutes late lol) and it got me thinking about habits and how powerful they are.

According to Webster’s dictionary HABIT is defined as:

A behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or performance. An acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary.

So many times we hear that we have to “break our bad habits.” That may seem overwhelming.  Eat right, exercise every day.  If you have every tried to quit smoking (I have) you realize that it is not as easy as just stopping.  I want to provide you with a different approach.  Instead of trying to break a bad habit shift the perspective and create a new one.  A habit that better serves your goals.  So here are the three way that I teach my clients how to create new habits.

1-Stop and think. Why did I wind up in my gym parking lot instead of my appointment?  I did not stop and think about what I had to do.  This is the first step in creating a new habit. Habit is involuntary and happens without thinking.  But if we stop for just a moment and think about what we are doing and ask the question “does this serve my goals?"it will cause us to delay the action.  For example, if you always have desert after you eat, once you are done with dinner stop for 5 minutes before you reach for the sweet treat.  Are you still hungry? Will eating this cake serve your goals.

2-Make a better choice. This is the most important step.  Creating new habits about making better choices.  We never give ourselves the time to consider a different choice (see point #1).  In that pause we can make a decision and base what we do next on that decision.  Using the same desert example.  We have decided that we are not hungry so our habit of eating a sweet after dinner does not make sense, we now have a choice.  Some examples of better choice based on some common goals:

If getting healthy is a goal I could decide to have a cup of berries instead of a slice of cake.  Both are sweet but the berries are a better choice.

If getting closer to my family and spending more quality time is a goal I could go for an after dinner walk with my family.  Or I could call a friend.

If growing my relationship with God is a goal I could say a prayer, read my bible or a short devotional

All of these choices serve my goal. Remember your goal and make a better choice.

3-Repeat: Remember habit is created by frequent repetition. If you want these new habits to stick you have to do them over and over again.  Your habit of eating a sweet after dinner may have started in childhood.  It took decades to develop!! You are not going to creating a new one by doing it once or even 5 times.  That’s where people disconnect.  In this age of immediate gratification, we give up when we don’t get the result we want immediately.  Human default is ease and comfort above all else.  When it gets hard and we feel like it would be so much easier if we just ate the darn cake!!!

That’s where the enemy waits whispering in our ear that you deserve that cake.  One slice won’t hurt.   You can worry about getting healthy tomorrow.  All lies to keep us right where we are struggling, frustrated and thinking we are never going to get this healthy living right.

Ladies please be strong!! Remember who you are!! A daughter of a king and not weak!!  Take these tips into your heart.  Take a moment, make a better choice and repeat.  I want to hear about the new habits that you are going to create and what better choices you are going to make.  Please leave a comment and share with me.

Less of Me, More of Him

I have said it countless times before I am stubborn and a bit of a control freak.  I am working with God on that.  Sometimes it takes me literally being hit over the head to listen to what He is trying to tell me.  Over the past two weeks I am slowly being transformed, through people that have come into my life and by slowing down to be still and listen to what He has to say.  I have never felt so excited for what’s to come yet so calm – that’s faith.  I have been “saved “for over 3 years but have never had faith in my heart.  That faith has changed everything.

My perspective has switched.  My mindset set has changed from one of scarcity: never good enough, never training enough, never lean enough, not enough likes, not enough money.  To a mindset of abundance.  I have allowed God’s grace to let me off the hook to myself.  I have finally believed that I am deserving of it.  I am no longer trapped by the lies of never enough.  If I am not perfect its ok, no one is.  If the filter that I truly live my life is LOVE GOD, LOVE OTHERS it all becomes simple.

I no longer have to kill myself in the gym for two hours a day.  I believe it when my coach says one hour will do.  I realize that even though it is a good thing the gym and training became a distraction something I could control and be good at.  Something that defined me.  I realize now that my strength, body fat and performance in CrossFit does not define me HE does.  It has been so liberating.  I can enjoy my food and my workouts.  If I have a bad day at the gym it doesn’t make me question my purpose.  If I indulge in a good meal and do not count or measure I no longer tell myself I have failed.  I know that I am not “fixed” I just feel connected and focused.  I will meet God every day and ask for grace and strength to continue on the path He has for me.

In my career winning has always been important to me.  I had to be the best.  Work the hardest for the most hours.  Make the most money so I could and get all the attention and promotions available.  When I first started my training business it was about helping others.  That was my goal and I did it well.  Somewhere along the way I lost sight of that.  My fame became more important.  I continued to strive for my glory and burnt out quickly.  I lost passion.  I began to doubt my skills and qualifications.  Instead of looking within myself I blamed others.  Instead of praying I just worked harder.  Then I just spun my wheels and made myself busy.  Paralyzing myself with it.  This continued until just a couple of weeks ago.  Then an amazing woman spoke truth into my life and I heard the word ABUNDANCE over and over again.  My purpose mattered not for my own glory but for HIS.  I had no need to strive or prove myself I was already accepted and loved.  As long as I stay on the path He has for me He will produce fruit.  Will it be easy? NO.  Will I lose some things? Probably.  But what I have gained is so much more valuable.  I have gained PEACE.


I have not lost my work ethic but I no longer #hustle for myself.  I do my absolute best to live the life God has for me.  So that others see His greatness in me.  Jesus is my CrossFit coach, nutrition coach and business mentor.  If I stick to His program I know that I will achieve every goal He sets for me.  That is my confidence.

All or Nothing

I have said this before I’m an all or nothing woman.  This is in all parts of my life.  I work hard, rest hard, love hard.  It’s the way I have been since I can remember.  I believed it has served me well for the past 45 years.  I have been successful, I have a great husband, I have a great daughter, I have my own business.  Notice the I’s: for my entire life I have run the show.  It has been me and my hard work that has gotten me where I am.

I did a Crossfit competition a couple of week ago and it was hard, really hard.  5 workouts (when there are usually 3) tough competition and my partner and I pushed.  We did well 2nd place, I was really happy with that.  But it took me 7 days to recover from this competition.  I felt like I had been hit by a bus.  My nervous system was shot, my workouts were crap and I was useless to my family. Through it all the word that kept repeating over and over in my head was WHY.  Why do I push this hard, why am I working out for as long as I do each day?  Why do I want to be this supreme Crossfitter?  Why do I care so much?

I came up with a couple of things:

  • I honestly do not know what I would do with myself if I didn’t have the goal of training hard to be a competitive Crossfitter. Who would I be?  I am good at Crossfit people know me for that.  And if I was really honest with myself I know exactly what I need to be doing instead of working out 2 hours a day and I am using Crossfit as a controllable distraction.  Something I can be sure of the outcome of because what God wants me to do is not as clear and straight forward as a 12 min workout.  The purpose he has for me cannot be improved upon in a 12 week training cycle and I won’t be able to know if I did well until I am with Him and He calls me his faithful servant.  No immediate gratification, no podiums.
  • I am afraid that my body will go to crap.  And I am pissed that I care so much.  Again there is no need for me to be 12% body fat.  It’s great but my body fat being that low and me being this muscular is really not necessary.  I can be fit.  I can be healthy.  My appearance is what I am know for, without it who would I be?  What would people think?  Again the all or nothing attitude.  I can’t just be fit I have to be the fittest.  I have forgotten who I am.  Who I am has absolutely nothing to do with my weight or body fat.  Who I am is who God says I am.  No where in the bible does it say I need to be super lean muscular to lead people to Him.  I know what you are may be thinking: it is good to be the best that you can be and I agree but it is NOT good to worship that ideal.  To make it an idol, to define myself by it.

These truths were hard to realize and harder to admit.  Now that I know all of this what do I do with it?  That is still a work in progress.  I am praying A LOT.  Asking for guidance and courage to let go of this need to control and distract myself.  Asking for faith and trust to wait on God’s plan and not to rush ahead on my own.  I am terrified of what the future holds.  Not because I believe it will be bad but because sometimes I don’t feel worthy enough for how good its going to be.

My biggest fear is that I will be average.  What I have forgotten is that I can never be average!!! That fear is a lie.

But instead of starting from a place of average, I must remember what God says I am and that is far from average and that is without doing a thing!



So it is 3 weeks after the competition and I am feeling a lot better physically.  This is giving me a lot of clarity mentally.  I am so grateful for this experience.  It has been a perspective and reality check for me.  It has woken me up to what matters most, what Gods plan is for me and challenged my faith.

What am I doing now? I am working out 5 days a week.  If I am tired I ease off.  If I feel good I push.  As for my nutrition I have not been tracking much at all for the last three weeks.  I am back to tracking with some adjustments and it feels good.  If I start to feel anxious about it I will stop. If I start to think about it too much I will stop.  The key for me is to constantly keep connected and honest about how I feel.  To trust that feeling I get inside when something needs to change.  Allow it to guide my decisions and not get in its way.

Consistency Not Perfection

I am an all or nothing kinda girl.  I can’t just do the sprint Spartan I have to do the Super.  I can’t just do a Crossfit competition to me it might as well be the Crossfit Games.  I can’t eat one chip it has to be the whole bag, with salsa, and cheese.

So when I asked on social media what most people struggle with when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle the biggest thing people talked about was staying on track.  Not letting weekends, weddings, parties and life cause them to be distracted and fall back into bad habits.

So I want to share with you the things that I do to focus on my goals while still enjoying life. I am not perfect.  I struggle too.  Many people call this balance but I don’t believe there is such a thing as balance.  Balance implies perfection and unless you are God perfection is impossible.  That’s where my helpful tips start:

1-      The definition of consistency is “logically ordered and/or following a pattern.  Agreement or logical coherence among things or parts.  Firmness of constitution or character.  What this all means is that the Majority of the time things stay the same.  No big changes.  No big highs or lows.  In the context of food and eating this means eating the same way the majority of the time.  No binges, to elimination.  I apply this to my life by going to weddings, ballgames, parties and vacations but I remain logical and don’t drink all the wine, I have a glass.  I don’t eat all the deserts I pick the one I want.  I don’t eat all the bread in the bread basket I have one slice.  Notice I didn’t deny myself the bread, wine or desert, I had them in MODERATION, enjoyed them without GUILT and moved on.  We run into trouble when we say we CAN’T have something, suddenly we desperately WANT IT.  Then because we think we can’t have it we eat much more than we should because we feel like it is the one opportunity to eat it so might as well go big or go home.  Feast or famine, all or nothing.  Not the logical patterned order that is consistency.

2-      Food does not have a soul.  That being said without a soul you cannot attach any moral labels to it.  Food is not GOOD or BAD.  It is food.  When we apply these labels some foods become bad and others good which causes us to morally judge our choices.  And when we don’t make the right choices WE become bad or good not the choice.  The filter I pass my food choices through is this:  How will this food make me feel? Is it worth it?  Will having that third drink or eating that 2nd slice of pizza or piece of cake bring me closer to my goals?  Will a bite of cake or one glass of wine serve the same purpose?  A thoughtful choice prevents and emotional reaction.  Emotional eating brings guilt and shame two things that should not be attached to food

3-      On the subject of emotional eating…. I totally get needing something sweet before bed (a square of dark chocolate usually does the trick) Or when it is that time of the month and you just need a bowl of ice cream.  It is ok.  The trouble occurs when we feel bad about it.  Feeling guilty doesn’t change the fact that you ate it.  Own it.  Have some introspection and figure out what you were feeling that caused it.  Don’t hide it or pretend it didn’t happen.  Talk about it with a trusted friend.  Shine a light on it.  The more we own our choice and don’t write them off as bad the less we will have to start over.

So there is no magic solution.  It’s not easy.  Staying consistent is hard, it takes work.  Integrity is doing what you say you are going to do.  Have integrity to yourself and your goals.  Own your emotions.  Own your choices.  Do not sacrifice long term success for short term gratification.  With food or with life.

5 Ways to Make Breakfast happen

You hear it all the time, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”.  It is called a break fast because you have not eaten for over 7 hours!!! Breakfast kick starts your bodies metabolism for the day, it is the signal to your digestive system to wake up!  If you work out in the am it is even more important to get something in.  My experience as a coach, trainer and busy mom is that breakfast is one of the hardest meals to get people to eat!  Not enough time, no appetite and not knowing what to eat.  Here are 5 tips that will help you make breakfast happen EVERYDAY:

1-      Plan and prepare:  This is probably one of the most important tips.  If your house is anything like mine mornings are hectic.  Walking dogs, feeding kids, showering leave little time or brain power to make good food choices.  The night before I make my breakfast and put it in the fridge.  I lay out my clothes and my daughters clothes for the day.  I make lunches.  So that when I start my day it feels organized not rushed and I can just reach into the fridge for something to eat. Some good options are hard boiled eggs, overnight oats (recipe at the end) or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. All can be made ahead and are portable.

2-      Drink your breakfast: Many people cannot eat solid food early in the morning.  Making yourself a protein shake or smoothie in the am is a great option especially if you work out early in the am.  Shakes digest quicker and you can drink them on the way to the gym.  You can also make them as simple (Advocare Meal Replacement shake is my go to) or as complex as you want adding fruit, oats, greens milk or yogurt.

3-      Fruit:  Fruit is natures to go food.  It is perfect for the am.  What is easier than grabbing a banana or apple as you walk out the door? Pop some berries in your mouth.  All easy stuff

4-      Cut the caffeine:  Many people say they are not hungry in the am.  But they drink 4 cups of coffee before 10am.  Caffeine mutes your appetite, and if you need anything more than a cup before 10am that lack of energy may be your body’s need for food and not more caffeine.  The body can adapt to anything until it doesn’t anymore then you will need more caffeine and be less hungry and that can leads to all sorts of other problems.  Start small with a shake(adding protein powder to iced coffee is delicious!) then move to a piece of fruit.  No one is asking you to have a stack of pancakes, eggs and bacon when you can stomach a piece of toast.  Ease in and I promise your will start waking up and wanting to eat.

5-      Decide to make the change:  All of these tips are great but its up to you to decide to make the change.  Tell yourself you will eat breakfast everyday for 7 days.  Post it to social media to keep you accountable.  Then turn the 7 days to 2 week, then a month and the next thing you know you will not understand how you functioned without your favorite meals of the day BREAKFAST

Overnight oats:

2 cups old fashioned oats

4 tablespoons Chia seeds

2 cups almond milk


Vanilla extract

I add a little sugar free syrup but that is optional

Mix together in a Tupperware or big Mason jar and keep in the fridge overnight.  In the am add whatever fruit and nut butter you like and enjoy!!!


The quality of being outstanding or extremely good; extremely high quality, superiority, eminence.

 I feel like this summer has been the season of excellence for me.  I think it all started when I went to the Northeast Regional of the Crossfit Games.  Watching the athletes seeing them performing at a level of excellence in their sport was so inspiring.  It started me thinking of how I can live my life with excellence.  I am not a professional athlete.  I am a wife, mom and Jesus girl who on most days just does the best I can.  What would excellence look like for me? And is excellence even possible?  Or is the journey towards excellence really what it is all about?

I stated to think about every part of my life:

Wife: Excellence as a wife.  For me that means respecting my husband above all else.  Praying for him, supporting him and giving him love.  There will be days when he makes me angry and respect is the furthest thing from my mind but excellence would be doing it anyway even when I don’t want to.

Mom:  This is a tough one.  On most days excellence is getting through the day with my daughter in one piece.  Excellence as a mom for me is loving my daughter, teaching her Gods word and praying with and for her.  If I get those covered in a day everything else usually works itself out.  Doing all of these thing even when I don’t feel like it is excellence.

Women who loves Jesus:  For me this is the hardest.  There is no faking this, no just getting by.  For me excellence is spending time with God each day in his word and speaking with him.  But most of all excellence is letting go of me and making it all about him.  I wake up everyday and ask for strength and wisdom to do both.  Doing all of these things even when I don’t feel like it is excellence.

Friend: Loving everyone that comes into my life.  Giving them support and the grace that God gives me.  Encouraging them when they are down, celebrating with them when they are up.  Believing in them even when they doubt themselves.  Being kind.  Doing all of these things even when I don’t feel like it is excellence.

Business Woman/ Athlete:  My weakness is peace.  All I want is to have quiet and nothing to do.  I can be very lazy.  As an athlete this manifests itself as holding back in workouts, overthinking lifts and doubting my ability.  In business this lead me to weeks of inaction, procrastination and Netflix binges.  To fight this I focus on grace and let go of perfection.  I try to treat every workout/business opportunity  as a learning and do not make failure the enemy.  I make instead make mediocracy the enemy. Doing all of these things even when I don’t feel like it is excellence

Feelings are really powerful and the world will tell you that they matter above all else.  But feelings are not the truth and are fleeting.  Feelings last for a moment and make us do things (or not do things) that in retrospect could have changed our life.  

The enemy of excellence is mediocracy.  Its remaining the same.  Its staying safe right where you are.  You may not fail but you will never truly taste excellence. 

Meal Prep 101

I posted this back in December but with summer upon us I speak to so many people who find food prep the most challenging part of living a healthy lifestyle.  I break down the process in easy manageable steps so anyone can reap the time freedom benefits of prepping their meals.

There are a million tips out there on how to lose weight and get healthy:
No carb
No fat
High fat
High protein
The list goes on and on. There is a billion dollars diet industry out there!! We have more information than ever before on health and exercise but there are more obese people in America than ever before. There are a million reasons why but I always like to keep things simple. For me the easiest way to control what you eat is to cook as much real food as possible at home.
I know that takes time and who has time right. But I look at it this way I would rather take the two and a half hours a week now to prep and cook real food than take the countless hours later visiting doctors and feeling horrible later.

So here is my magic bullet the number one thing I tell my clients and anyone who asks “how do I do that?” Here are my food prep basics:
1- shop once a week: whole foods that are not processed do not last as long as things in boxes and cans. This means that you really can’t stock up on fresh veggies and fruit because if they are not consumed they will go bad. After a couple of weeks of cooking for your family you will figure out how much you need to buy. The key is to save time and visit the grocery store once a week I like Saturday early morning or Thursday night (great time to avoid crowds)make a list stick to it and make sure you eat before you go, cravings because you are hungry are costly.
Quick tip: if fresh is not an option because of finances I would buy frozen then canned in that order)
2- plan out your menu: this takes about 10 minutes and I usually do it while I am writing my shopping list. My family sticks to the same schedule week to week and it looks like this :
Slow cooker Sunday
Monday Leftover slow cooker with a veggie
Taco Tuesday
Wednesday stir fry
Italian Thursday
Pizza Friday
Saturday potluck (we usually order out or go out as a family)
3- cook proteins in bulk: this means grill a couple pounds of chicken, cooked some ground turkey or grass fed beef, make a chili in the slow cooker. Hard boiled eggs also store well or cook quickly to make a fast protein packed breakfast. Once these are done they are the base for each of your meals. This also makes it easy for you if you have kids eating at different times because of after school activities. Proteins can be reheated quickly and mixed with veggies to have a complete meal.
4- roast veggies: I love roasted broccoli, cauliflower or Brussels sprouts and they keep well in the fridge. Spinach and kale I like to sauté the night of with garlic and olive oil.
Seasoning is key. I love Flavor God seasoning or Mrs. Dash. Don’t want to get fancy salt and pepper always works
5-carbs are not evil: they are an important part of a balanced diet. What matters is the quality of carbs. I roast some sweet potato (I bake them as fries so my little one can enjoy them too)or squash, make some brown rice and always make sure I have oatmeal and Esiekal bread on hand.
6- Fats are your friend: fats are great a an important part of balanced nutrition. Much like carbs it is the quality that counts. I make sure I have a good coconut oil on hand for cooking, olive oil for dressing salads, lots of avocados and nut butters in the kitchen too.
7- I cook on Sunday and Wednesday each week for about an hour and a half. I put my slow cooker on Sunday morning before church.
It may seem like a lot of work but the small amount of prep will save you tons of time and stress in the long run. You and your family will always have home cooked whole foods ready for every night of the week.

Why Food Matters

As a Crossfit coach I am inspired everyday watching the members do things that they have never done before. They lift heavier weight, run farther and faster and get stronger everyday!!!

Exercise and moving your body is wonderful. It changes lives and for many it leads to improvements in all parts of their lives. Their relationships their energy levels and the way they eat.

But for some getting on the right track with food and improving their eating habits is a struggle. That’s where I come in, lol. Here are my 5 reasons why food matters:

  • The saying “food is fuel” is true. Many people have lost the connecting between what they eat and how they feel. The body is an amazing thing. Its goal is to continue to function. This means that it gets used to anything and will continue to function … until it doesn’t. If you are eating fast food, drinking too much or just not eating enough you may feel “fine” but that does not mean that your body is at its best. Fine is not great. Why be mediocre when you could be great. I hear it all the time from clients, “I didn’t realize how tired, sick I was until I started eating right”. What you put in you get out
  • You can’t out exercise poor nutrition. Many times people will exercise for hours to “earn” a cheat meal or to “work off” some choices. Neither will work in the long run. This sets you up to view food as something you need to earn or work for, neither of which is healthy. Food is wonderful and has no moral value; it should not have guilt attached to it. You feel guilty when you lie or steal not when you eat.
  • Real food is cheaper. I challenge you to calculate the amount of money that you spend on eating out for a week. This includes coffee, drinks and lunch and dinners out. I can pretty much guarantee that it will be more than buying fruits and veggies at the supermarket for a week. Eating out is not bad in moderation but eating out more than you eat at home starts to add up.
  • Food services are an incredible option: Many of my clients want to eat real food and stop eating out so much but they just don’t have times to cook. Food prepping at home will always be cheaper but if your lifestyle just does not allow the time there are a ton of really good food prep services out there. They can accommodate any diet restrictions and most of the good ones use organic sources.
  • You will teach your family good habits that last a lifetime: So many moms underestimate the influence that they have on the habits of their families. We are the gatekeepers of what our family eats. If we present them with different choices and show them by example how exciting and delicious home cooked meals can be it can change their health and how they view food for the rest of their lives.

So make a commitment to change the way you eat even if it is for one week. Maybe eat out twice instead of 5 times. Maybe cook dinner for your family over the weekend if you always order take out. Maybe do some research on food delivery services. Try to make one small change. When you do I want o hear about it.

It will be different and different is hard but it’s the hard that makes us better.

I would rather have a better life than an easy one.