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Tag: health


Personal Bests. Personal Records. Wins. First Place. Runner Up. Age Group Winner. Overall Female or Male Finisher.

Wow! These all sound wonderful and thrilling to accomplish. I, for one, have reveled in the wake of a top finish. However, as I progress in my running “career” I’ve found new meaning in logging miles and collecting race bibs. When I was in high school, most of the girls in my school did not run and did not think it was fun. In college, I surrounded myself with a few more like-minded peers, but still the majority of people that I knew did not run. Every year that I kept on racing and putting more miles in my legs, I met more runners like me. Some were super competitive and others just ran for fun. From the very beginning of my running days, I’ve considered myself to be a slightly above average runner, so competitive racing naturally became a part of me. I had finally gotten my full of hard track racing while running on the incredible GBTC team. To this day, it is one of the best experiences I have ever had when it comes to running. As the years passed I got faster, but not fast enough to be considered an elite athlete and so I slowly found myself developing a different mindset towards running.

In my late 20’s-early 30’s I started hopping into fun races like the Hot Chocolate Run, 80’s run, Nike Women’s 1/2 Marathon, Hood To Coast Relay, Halloween 5k, Holiday Dash, plus more, and I realized that it’s fun to compete but even more fun to just have fun! I also started noticing the number of runners that weren’t really there to compete, far out numbered the competitive ones. When I started taking stock of who was running and the stories behind their running, an emotional connection to the races and fellow runners budded inside. A shift from wanting to be in the front at every race to running for health, strength, and enjoyment took over. Leaving my competitive running team in SF (short-lived team member for Impala Racing Team), running on my own for a few years, and finally joining up with Oiselle Volée was the last bit I needed to fill my nutty running legs up with joy.

When I go on my FB feed I see friends from way back, who were never runners before, posting their running photos from various races and runs. I’d say that more than half of my FB friends are a part of a world that once didn’t exist in their lives. Being a part of Oiselle also gives me the opportunity to learn and meet people of all abilities who enjoy running as much as I do. To me, this is so beautiful to watch the power of running unfold. Some run for health, for fun, for a family member, for sanity… the list goes on.  20 years ago I felt like I was a part of a very small group – runners – and people thought I was a nut because I loved it so much. Now, I have runner friends to be inspired and encouraged by wherever I turn. So, to all of my runner friends who are worried or feel bummed by places, times, and wins remember that your efforts mean so much more than any of those things. You are contributing to a lifestyle or world that is deeply woven in some of us and it thrills us to have… company! Go out and have fun on your runs! Work hard, give it all you’ve got and remember that you always have a runner friend cheering for you!


Share your running stories below!

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A side project

So, I decided to start a little side project – a blog about life improvement and stories. I am still totally committed to personal training, wellness coaching, and everything else but I wanted an outlet to tell personal and others’ stories to inspire readers to be their best. If you are interested, here is the link: Mama’s Got Change

live full.

mama's got change

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Improvement, Day 3: Fueling The Soul

I think most of us can agree that if our soul feels full, then we feel content. If it’s the slightest bit emtpy we start looking for the next thing we think will fill the void. Humans are creative. We use food, alochol, weed, late night television watching, romance novels, and . . . in order to fill whatever void is missing from our soul.

Let’s dive into some possible Fuel For The Soul options, so we don’t try to fill the soul with more emptiness.

  1. Music: My family and I recently ate dinner at a friends home. In the background of our conversations, through the laughter and occasional screeches from our children was this serene music.  Our friends said it was Lemongrass, which they followed on Pandora. The very next chance I got, I went on my Spotify to find the channel. There’s just something invigorating about Lemongrass. I listen to it when I’m working, cooking, playing with the kids – it’s good stuff. This music will definelty fuel your soul.
  2. Gut Helpers: It’s hard for the soul to feel good when your gut doesn’t. Plant-based fiber will get your system working. Fennel tea aids digestions (bloating, gas, etc…) and is loaded with great vitamins and minerals, apple cider vinegar aids in normalizing acidity, and ginger eases mentrual cramps, nausea, and can be used to help break down high-protein foods such as meats and beans.
  3. Podcasts: Comedy. Health & Wellness. Fitness. Fiction. Story Telling. Science. Spirituality. You name it, there’s probably a podcast for it. So, whatever area sparks your soul, check out some podcasts on the subject and it may just have you feeling just a little better. [My go-to podcast is The Rich Roll Podcast]
  4. Essential Oils – Trust me, I was just kind of into it when I first started reading about oils. Then, I went to my parent’s house for a family vacation and was caught off-guard when one day my feelings went from being really bothered, to blissful. I took in the essential oils my mom had “on” and did a couple yoga moves. Before I had time to process anything, I was a new person.
  5. Movement: a bit of movement can go a long way. With movement, the blood flows, edorphines are released, and you just get rid of stuff. Being a runner, I tend to use my running as a means to renew and rejuvinate myself, but as of late, I’ve been revisiting my old yoga practice due to some injuries. My head space can become clear while practicing yoga, just as it does while running.

Do you have any go-to’s to fuel your soul?

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Improvement, Day 2: Time

There’s 60 seconds in a minute. 60 minutes in an hour. 24 hours in a day. 365 days in a year. 10 years in a decade. How many decades in a lifetime? The years each one of us lives, is largely dependent on how each one of us, independently, lives our lives. From food, exercise, matters of the mind, etc… they either take away from the seconds we have left or add to the the life we are living.

Time is all we have, so why shouldn’t we just make the most out of every second that we are alive? Here are some suggestions on how to make the most out of your day(s):

  1. Pieces of happiness: Identify the thing that makes you really happy. Once you know what that is, do you think that you are able to incorporate that happy piece into your first minutes of waking up? If so, try and see how it feels. Doing something you find joy in right in your waking moments can set the tone of your day. For example, I get up and kiss my kiddos & husband right away and then set off on a run or gym visit. My family makes me really happy and exericse makes me even more happy.
  2. Problems/Hardships: Are there “things” in your life? Things that chip away at your soul? Is it a short list or a long list? Are they approachable? Solveable? Can you think of some options that may help soften or dissolve the problems? Maybe it’s the strain of caring for a relative. Maybe it’s not being able to spend more time with your kids or husband. Maybe it’s struggling with paying the bills. Believe it or not, there are people out there that want to know what you are struggling with and want to help – whether it’s passing along an idea, tip, a hand, an hour, a doctor’s visit, healing time, a job. If you can open yourself up to facing the issues that are holding you down and open to yourself coming up with some sort of resolution or compromise then you will open yourself to the those in the world who want to help and the things that can help.
  3. It only takes one moment… to last a lifetime: Instead of your day being bogged down with stresses and upside down attitudes, try to MAKE one moment a day, a moment that will last a lifetime. Maybe it’s dancing and giggling with your kids, a soulful bike ride, hike, run, swim etc… Maybe it’s an embrace with your lived one that lasts that one extra second, the one that makes you both understand and feel the love without saying a word.

Share your time below and watch your second, minutes, hours, and days grow with happiness.

image Making the most out of “my” time and getting some early morning workout and work done before my kids get up and my husband heads to work. 🙂

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How Kombucha Saved Me


I am pretty sure that Kombucha has saved me from an adult life of alcoholism. I’ve never been a big drinker, maybe a bit in college, but not after. I actually broke up with my college boyfriend because he drank too much. I married a man who is straight-edge and has never had a drink in his life. Addiction runs strong and passionately through half of my family. From smoking, pain medication, alcohol you name it, it’s in there. My addiction is running and just exercise in general. It’s healthy, but definitely an addiction nonetheless. Knowing and understanding addiction has always made me a bit on the cautious side when it comes to alcohol.

Drinking used to be fun and light-hearted in social situations, but in the last couple of years I’ve noticed a change in its effects on my personality. One drink and I’m in a bad mood and snarky to my husband. The days following one drink, I’m cranky and lethargic. The sad part, is that I didn’t even realize that it was happening until the last time – this past New Year’s Eve. Leading up to that night, I had many nights when I craved a hard cider. It was a craving that was more intense than the pregnancy cravings I had with both boys combined. A few days into the New Year, I expressed my feelings to my husband and being the straight-edge guy he is, was psyched to have a teammate in this particular corner.

Being gluten-free (due to celiac disease) is easy. Being plant-based is fun and easy. Being an adult who doesn’t drink alcohol is… well, I imagine it will be hard. I haven’t actually had to defend my “no thanks, I’m good” position yet.

However, a few months ago I started drinking Kombucha. Before I had my boys I loved it, but it’s not recommended for pregnant or nursing moms so I gave it up – no biggie. When my alcohol revelation popped up, I remembered how I loved Kombucha. One night, I craved a hard cider and instead I bought a Kombucha. The tasty bubbliness eliminated any craving I had and so my new, healthier addiction began. I can now visualize myself enjoying a good brew of Kombucha at our 4th of July block party, instead of a hard cider or other form of alcohol.

Honestly, I’ve seen the negative effects of alcohol too many times and I’m sure others have seen more than I have. But to experience those negative effects on top of witnessing the effects in others, is enough to give it up all together.

So, my kids exhaust me at times, my work is too much sometimes, my husband works a lot, but it’s nothing that a little yoga, mediation, and Kombucha can’t fix.

Peace. Plants. Love. Kombucha.

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Lead by Example

As parents, I think we sometimes forget that we are the best example for our children. They come into this world knowing nothing. They pretty much grow and learn from us and the experiences we give them.

Last year, while living in San Francisco, I felt that as a family we were good examples for our children, but we had some work to do. The stress of living in a big, busy city, i.e. crowded playgrounds, cramped houses, little neighborhood playing, growing homeless population, and increasing expenses (just to name a few) added a great deal of stress to our lives and in turn, our children’s lives too.

Upon moving to Portland, OR, our lives finally felt manageable and healthy. Stress became nearly non-existant, which made everything else easy and fun. Due to the family-centered neighborhood we live in not only can my husband and I enjoy our running but our boys can safely bike, scooter, walk, and eventually run all around the area.

IMG_4113 IMG_3400

Cooking meals together was hassle in our old home and now we all make meals together, most days. Earlier in the day, my two boys were “fighting” over cauliflower and this evening they were doing the same over brussel sprouts. Given the pace we were living in SF, those types of fresh vegetables weren’t typically around and now they always are. I made the cauliflower for lunch and my husband made the brussel sprouts for dinner. We both loved what we were making and that love encouraged our kids to eat it too.

Right after dinner, tonight, my almost three year-old wanted to walk on his hands and do a hand stand. As a compromise (since he doesn’t have any gymnastics training yet), we did wheelbarrow around the house, from room to room, multiple times. I imagine that seeing me train my clients in bear crawls, down dog shoulder presses, and all the fun, crazy body weight exercises, encouraged my little guy to experiment with his own body too.

Not only does being an example of healthy behaviors translate to our children, but so does our moods, the way we communicate with one another, expressing our likes and dislikes, our reading, TV, computer, and phone behaviors do as well.

Our Examples:

  • making healthy smoothies together in the morning
  • our daily running
  • oohing and ahhing over fresh fruits and vegetables
  • giving loving smiles to each other throughout the day
  • making donations
  • taking care of our bodies
  • taking a breath or meditating when we need it
  • each person takes a part in making meals and snacks

What do you do to be the example to your kids?  I’d love to read it below.

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