create a dream: nutrition coach (part two)

As part of our photo session together, Aly wanted photographs with her family in their garden this year. Their hard work is inspiring…but so is the beautiful location. It was my favorite part of our time together (you know how I feel about photographing children…my favorite!)

MY QUESTION FOR ALY:

As a mom, knowing and understanding the importance of nutrition has come slowly for me over the years. I struggle with how to teach my children. I know force and full restriction isn’t healthy. I am wondering how someone, with your knowledge, implements and inspires your family in nutrition…

This is one of the questions I get asked most frequently. It takes A LOT of work, intentionality, and preparation to take care of our own nutrition. How in the WORLD do we help our kids? 

Obviously, the best way is by example. But also with dropping hints along the way. haha! I try to offer my young kids different foods multiple times for them to have the opportunity to like it. Sometimes they never do. But there is a statistic that says it could take as many as 12 tries before you like a certain food. I also like to tell my kids what different nutrients or foods “do” for our bodies. For example, I’ll tell them that broccoli helps heal their scrapes and cuts. Or eggs can help keep their eyes strong. They think that’s pretty cool. I actually remember my mom telling me the same sorts of things growing up. 

I also talk A LOT about the effects of junk food on our bodies and moods. Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE treats and desserts. But I can tell in myself and my children if we’ve been having a lot of sugar.  I can tell because we all get so grumpy afterwards!! I’ll tell my kids, “Sugar tastes SO good. But it doesn’t make me feel very good. Those brownies are kind of making my stomach hurt and I think we all may be a little grumpy from it.” Or “I had a CRAZY dream last night, do you think it could have been the chocolate ice cream I ate before bed?” I want to teach them there is a connection between what we eat and how we feel. I am VERY careful not to use words like “fat” in front of my kids. We like to talk about the benefits of how healthy foods help us be STRONG. Or I tell them things like healthy food helps us be awesome soccer players or ballerinas. 

For older kids, which I haven’t fully experienced yet, I have offered the idea of having kids track their food in an app like, My Fitness Pal, for just a day or two. So they can have a better understanding of what calories are and which foods have more or less calories and nutrients. I don’t believe kids, including teenagers, should track their food intake long-term. Kids bodies are growing so rapidly and I don’t believe they should be worried about restricting calories. Besides putting their growth at risk, it could also cause more self esteem problems and unhealthy relationships with food. However, teenagers are old enough to understand what different nutrients can do for their bodies and how balanced nutrition can help them perform better in school, in sports, and in life. If you could challenge kids to go sugar or junk food free for one month, I think they’d be surprised at how good they feel and how clear their minds are!

I also think it’s very important to involve kids in cooking and preparing food from an early age. Preparing food at home is the healthiest way to eat and they need to know HOW to menu plan, grocery shop, and prepare food. 

Anxiety and depression are on the rise, as we all know. And I can’t help but suspect that our diets are a huge culprit in those illnesses. Blood sugar regulation helps with mood stabilization. Adequate water helps with energy and proper bodily functions. Protein helps rebuild ALL our cells in our bodies. Healthy fats help with brain and hormone function. It also keeps our hair looking good! I know there are so many facets to mental health. But for the sake of our kids, cleaning up their nutrition should be one of our first lines of defense. And I believe we need to teach our children these things!

I want to thank Aly (and her beautiful family!) for taking the time to share, not only what she is passionate about, but also details on how to put her work into practice. If you don’t already, follow Aly on IG, you can find her wisdom there @food.rebel

create a dream: nutrition coach (part one)

My friend Aly from FOOD REBEL is an inspiration to me! She is a nutritional consultant and coach. She is a cross-fit enthusiast, and a wonderful friend. I admire her real persona on social media, it is authentic to how I know her as a friend and neighbor. She is also motivated in leading this community she has created! I hope you enjoy what I learned from her as much as I did!

What does confidence mean to you? How do you create it in your life?

Personal confidence is knowing who you are and loving yourself anyway. I truly believe personal confidence is a trait that comes through A LOT of hard work and persistence. You find who you are, by going through hard times and continuing to stand back up when life knocks you down. It comes by acknowledging your flaws and weaknesses — and choosing to either strengthen them or accept them as they are. I believe in showing yourself grace as you learn and grow as an individual. It’s definitely something I’m still working on each day!

Just as there is personal confidence in yourself, I also believe there is confidence in a process. Finding a mentor you admire and trust to show you the way through a process is key. And then allowing yourself to trust and have CONFIDENCE and patience in the process can bring things and ideas into your life that you never imagined were possible.

learning of this routine, I’m not surprised at Aly’s outlook and work ethic…

WILL YOU SHARE A FAVORITE ROUTINE? HOW HAS IT CHANGED YOUR LIFE?

My ABSOLUTE favorite routine has only been a part of my life for the past 6 months. It has brought so much perspective and peace into my days. Each morning, as I wake up, I roll over and grab my notebook off my nightstand and spend 10 minutes journaling. First, I write a list of personal affirmations. These are goals and ideals and dreams I have for myself. They include things like, “I am a supportive wife. I am an effective and knowledgeable coach. I listen to my children. I am intentional with my time. Etc.”

Then I write a handful of things I am thankful for right then. They can be as important as my family or my God, or as minor as my toothbrush and mechanical pencils.

I also write my three specific long-terms goals each day, which include a wellness goal, a financial goal, and a family goal.

Finally, I write a “people list,” I ponder who I would like to intentionally show up for today. It could be one of my children that I feel needs a little extra love or attention, a neighbor that needs a helping hand, my amazing clients, or even myself—if I need to take time to protect my own well-being.

If my children are still sleeping at this point (whew), I also take time to read some scripture, do some yoga stretches or breathing, take a few minutes to pray, and pre-log my meals for the day.

This sets my day up for peace and purpose. I hope to continue to have this routine a part of my day for the rest of my life.

Aly asked during this shoot- I really want photos of Steve and I, he is my biggest supporter.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MISTAKE THAT YOU HAVE MADE IN YOUR LIFE?

My favorite mistake in my life was accidentally leaving my gloves in the car of my cousin’s date. I hadn’t realized I had stolen his attention on our double date that night. He brought the lost gloves to my house the next day hoping to get my phone number. However, I wouldn’t come to the door because I had just gotten out of the shower and had a towel on my head and mascara running down my face! I drove by his work a few days later and left a note thanking him. He carried that note in his wallet for 2 years! It took that long for me to stop feeling bad for stealing my cousins date! But thankfully she forgave me and I now have been married to him for 12 years!

she interacts with clients with no judgement…just encouragement!

WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO SHOW UP AND WORK HARD IN YOUR BUSINESS AS A NUTRITION COACH?

I am COMPLETELY in love with helping women learn to love themselves. I love to see their excitement as they not only lose fat, but as they gain confidence in themselves and in the process. I love seeing the support in the groups. They motivate me to make healthy choices in my own life.

I also really love creating something. I love being a mother, but its hard work!! And it’s often mundane and forgotten tasks. I’ve found joy in creating a business that is growing and helping others!! It’s given my life an added purpose and confidence. It’s a perfect creative outlet for me it helps remind me that I’m a capable and intelligent woman.

WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE GIFT THAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED?

The most memorable gift I ever received was a little handmade Christmas ornament my preschooler made for me one year. It had his painted handprint on it. He then painted each finger like a snowman. It was a seemingly small and insignificant gift. But he gave it to me on the day the Sandy Hook school shooting happened. I remember holding that little ornament and crying that evening. I remember feeling so thankful that I got to hold my precious little children that day and my heart ached for those families who didn’t get to do the same.

WHAT TRAIT ARE YOU MOST GRATEFUL FOR IN YOURSELF?

I am grateful for my ability for personal introspection. I’ve always been an introvert and I’ve learned to stay in tune with what’s going on in my mind and body. I’ve researched to find tools that help me stay peaceful and feel my best. It’s also helped me in my spiritual life. I feel like I have a stronger connection with my God because of the time I’ve spent in personal reflection.

she has a podcast just for her FOOD REBEL community

WHAT TOOL COULD YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT? WHY?

I am a HUGE lover of Google. One of my favorite “guilty pleasures” is to google all my curiosities and questions. If you look through my search history you’ll find things as varied as, “How to give a goldendoodle a haircut at home,” to things like “Healthy and quick school morning recipes.” You can find anything and learn about so many different things online! We live in an AMAZING time to have access to so much information instantly. I love it!

WHAT DOES THE WORLD NEED MORE OF?

The world needs more patience. Myself included! We are all so impatient with other people, with waiting for services, for things to heal, and for the next big thing to happen in our lives. It brings so much anxiety, frustration and depression. If we could just BREATHE and find happiness and contentment now, I believe we could save ourselves so much angst.

Don’t you LOVE her!? I am excited to share more about her as a mom next week…and how her nutrition background and expertise helps her AND HER FAMILY!

create a dream: Canyon Creek Hollow

He rode these same hills on his horse as a child. Now, with kids grown, he has created an oasis for any horse lover. He is living the dream he has had since his childhood. I am grateful that they trusted me with this story.

Let me start by saying, I am a total beginner when it comes to video! Most teens that have never taken a videography lesson, are more skilled than I am. I took @haileybe ‘s class at @illuminateclasses almost two years ago I think. 😬 It was amazing! I have A LOT of room for growth and went into it thinking I would never do it again- but I actually loved it. Maybe I will switch that toggle over to video a bit more often when I have my camera in my hands.

create a dream: a carwash episode

I was listening to a motivational podcast this week. The subject of the episode was finding your purpose, your personal legend. They suggested reflecting back to the dream you have had since your youth. It was intended to be motivating. I was actually left in somewhat of a stupor. There were things like writing and art that I was interested in from a young age. I have wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember-but a calling that has fueled my decisions, or that I have always known was mine, has not been my experience. I am really inspired by people who follow a dream, CREATE IT for themselves after hardships, set backs or just the hard knocks of life. I think that’s what I love so much about Lauretta CREATING A DREAM of owning a car wash- ST GEORGE CAR WASH

I met Lauretta 14 years ago. She was my neighbor. She and Scott were working hard raising a blended family, children from their prior marriages. Their children were motivated, sweet, responsible, kind- just the examples I loved having for my young girls to look up to. Some of our favorite neighborhood memories have been in their backyard eating gourmet s’mores visiting with everyone they could think to invite. They are amazing cooks and even better friends. Lauretta, unfortunately for me, is no longer down the street, but I made the excuse to visit her at the very thing that took her away. I love the opportunity to introduce her to you-

How did you become a business owner?

I worked for Xerox as a Group President, Government Healthcare Group. I was responsible for $610M in annual revenue with over 6,000 employees. I came to Xerox through an acquisition of ACS (Affiliated Business Services). After seven years, Xerox decided that the acquisition wasn’t successful and decided to spin off the former ACS as a separate business. Through this transition, my group was combined with another group and I found myself without a position. I could have taken a different position within the new company, but I decided it was time to leave and do something different. I took a lucrative severance package and moved on.

Why did you choose a car wash?

Leaving my corporate job was a huge shock to me. Much of my identity was tied to my position which I no longer had. In the initial months of being “retired”, I felt lost and unsure what to do next. I started to look for another corporate job but my heart wasn’t in it. It didn’t feel right. One day, I was in my home office upstairs and Scott was in his home office downstairs. He texted me with the idea that we should purchase a business and I could run it. My heart instantly felt at peace and I loved the idea. We started to look around for business opportunities. Although my background is in healthcare, my real passion lies in business, specifically how to improve processes, growth, retaining and developing talent, and delivering exceptional service to customers. We evaluated many businesses and loved the car wash because it is a simple business model, and it had been in business for 24 years with an excellent financial history.

What is the most challenging aspect of running your business?

Unrealistic customer expectations, bad weather, and employee turnover. The labor market in St. George has changed and I have had to raise my starting pay for new employees in order to attract people to come to work here.

What is the most rewarding part of owning your car wash?

I absolutely love being a small business owner who can make decisions, set strategy and a vision for the future without having to get corporate approval. I love the lack of bureaucracy and politics that are common in large corporations.

Imagine yourself at 80 years old-what will be grateful that you did in this stage of your life?

Until two years ago, I have always worked full-time and found it difficult to have balance in my life with work, family, church, and outside interests. I am so grateful for the opportunity to own a business with a full-time manager which allows me time to pursue other interests such as friendships, personal development, hobbies, and self-care. I have more time to spend with my family. I am grateful to lead a life with less stress and pressure.

Who inspires you to be a better person? Why?

My husband Scott. He knows me better than anyone and isn’t afraid to challenge my thinking and assumptions. He has strengths that I do not have and together we make a great team. He gives me advice and is great at listening to my ideas and talking through decisions. It is critical for me to have someone I can share everything with – the good, the bad, and the ugly. My personality is such that I like to talk through things, often more than once. I am fortunate that my best friend is also my husband and he is always there for me.

What is your favorite book? Why?

My favorite business book is First, Break all the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham from The Gallup Group. They did in-depth research and presented findings of what makes great managers turn individual employee’s talent into high performance. These managers didn’t hesitate to break virtually every rule of conventional wisdom.

What is your favorite failure/mistake?

I have been fired from my job not once, but twice! But wait, it gets better. I was fired both times from the same company. Feeling like a failure is not fun but the experience helped me evaluate my life, my motivations, and what is really important. I heard someone say, “Your worst day will end up being your best day, because it is the day you are forced to change.” As I look back on these difficult experiences, I see how much I grew and learned.  The second time this happened made me realize that corporate life wasn’t the right fit for me anymore. If I had still been working in my corporate job, we would not have searched for a business to purchase and we wouldn’t own the car wash. I am right where I want to be in my career.

“Your worst day will end up being your best day, because it is the day you are forced to change.”

Favorite dessert?

I have such a sweet tooth. I have many favorites but if I need to narrow it down it would be my homemade triple chocolate toffee brownies or Scott’s Lemon Blueberry cake. I also love cookies. My current favorite cookies (besides homemade) are Crumbl. I love their flavors, their size, and the dense texture.

What is your favorite book to give away?

HOW WILL YOU MEASURE YOUR LIFE by Clayton Christensen

If you had an extra hour every day, what would you do with it?

For half of the week, I would want to spend the extra hour with my family. On the other days, I would spend the extra hour on personal development. I have been listening to Rachel Hollis’ podcasts and I ordered the start today journal. I am going to start doing her goal setting practices. I received an email from Rachel Hollis to her email list saying that for three years she has been writing down the goal to speak at a Tony Robbins event. She was recently invited to speak with Tony Robbins.  I had told Scott a few months ago that I wanted to attend a Tony Robbins event. As soon as I got the email, I purchased tickets to the event in Calgary, Canada where both Tony Robbins and Rachel Hollis will be speaking for me and Scott to attend in July. I am a podcast and personal development junkie. My favorite podcasts are: How I Built This, Rise Together, Better than Happy, Planet Money, Ted Radio Hour and Work Life with Adam Grant.

Which trait are you most grateful for in yourself?

I am loyal. I try to see the best in others and give people the benefit of the doubt. I believe that most people do not try to hurt others. Most people are trying to do their best.

Most people are trying to do their best.

What tool could you not live without? Why?

This is pretty corny, but I could not live without my phone since it is the most powerful thing that I have. I am very curious by nature and I find myself looking things up in Google several times each day. When I see or hear something that I do not know, I can instantly look it up. I use the notes app for lists and to store information. I just opened the notes app and I have 155 notes. I do not make to-do lists or take notes on paper anymore. Instead I put it into my phone which I have wherever I go.

What is your greatest success?

My greatest success is my happy marriage to a wonderful husband and the success of our children. They are righteous, happy, healthy, independent adults who are contributing well to society. They are great examples of courage, determination, strength, tenacity, kindness, and love. As our kids were growing up, we felt it was important to create family traditions and memories. For 10 years, I drove a red Dodge Durango and didn’t buy a new car. There were many things in our homes that we wanted to remodel but we put if off for years. Scott and I knew that when the kids grew up they wouldn’t look back at their childhood and marvel at the amazing bathroom we had. Instead our children would remember and cherish the memories that we made through our traditions, family vacations, and family activities.

our children would remember and cherish the memories that we made through our traditions, family vacations, and family activities.

I hope from this, that you have a sense of the kind of person she is. She is a woman poised in every situation I have seen her in. She is a loyal friend. She is a dedicated wife and mother. I have looked to her as an example in so many situations. If you are ever in St George, UT, stop by to get your car washed! Your car will look and smell amazing and I know that you will love Lauretta (and Scott!) as much as I do!

def. of CREATE

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

28mm, f4.5, 1/1250, ISO200 | Hog Island, RI

Most of my life I thought of the action to CREATE when referring to CREATIVITY had almost everything to do with art…drawing, clay sculpting, painting, crafts, etc…  It is SO much broader to me now.  The definition of CREATE in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary is:

  • to bring into existence
  • to invest with a new form, office or rank
  • to produce through imaginative skill
  • to make or bring into existence something new

To bring anything into existence…to work on anything in an imaginative way…even laundry, could become a creative endeavor.  My favorite antonym of CREATE is CONSUME.  I am seeing more and more that anything I am doing proactively…that is coming from ideas in my brain is a creative process.  I believe that igniting that within ourselves…even while doing laundry, is fuel for our lives and happiness.

burst into bloom

20150515-_97A1067_edit.jpg20150515-_97A1071_crop

35mm, f1.8, 1/320, ISO100 | Dumbarton Oaks Conservancy

 

“Work with all your heart, because–I promise–if you show up for your work day after day after day after day, you just might get lucky enough some random morning to burst right into bloom.”  -Elizabeth Gilbert

drew itself near

K97A5449.jpg

24mm (24-70mm lens), f2.8, 1/250, ISO6400

“Why would your creativity not love you?  It came to you, didn’t it?  It drew itself near.  It worked itself into you, asking for your attention and devotion.  It filled you with desire to make and do interesting things.  Creativity wanted a relationship with you.  That must be for a reason right?” -Elizabeth Gilbert

This is an excerpt from BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert, one of my favorite books of all time.  I love the message of believing that any creative idea that comes your way LOVES YOU!  Why wouldn’t it?  And why would it come to you if it didn’t?  I am working hard to forget the excuses…and embrace ideas that come my way…and KEEP EMBRACING them when obstacles enter my path.  I am ready to ignore excuses and love creativity right back.