Friday, February 1, 2019

So what are these challenge groups you do?

I am so excited you are interested in learning more about self care for teachers! I'm sooooo excited about it! We want to get your stuff ordered right away so it gets here in time to use during the first week. Shipping always takes longer than I wish it did so here's the components:

The coaching and accountability groups are the glue that holds it all together. It's basically a community to look forward to checking in with each morning as you start your day with a positive and encouraging mindset or on your 30 minute duty free lunch! THIS is the life changing part. The Stronger with Joy Community is ready and excited for you to join us!

The workouts are online and can be streamed on a ton of different devices. I have used my computer, phone, or iPad. I mine in my basement before my family wakes up or while I am cooking dinner. This is the same company as P90X- but don't worry there are so many programs to choose from from Gentle Yoga, Dance, MMA, Lifting, all the way to more intense boot camps. We will pick the perfect one for you to start with. I honestly am so excited for the new one right now because it's shorter than the other workout plans I've been doing and just combines everything so fast paced. Just to get it all done!

THIS is the part that is usually the hardest for people, but gets you 80% of your results. There are 2 different nutrition plans depending on what you are looking for or think will work best with your life. I like them both for different reasons.

1. The Portion Fix containers help you wrap your head around the meal plan and portion control in the simplest way I have ever done. I use mine as a measuring cup. Actually having them is way easier than trying to remember cup equivalents for the different food groups. This is how I started and how I lost my weight.

2. The 2B mindset program actually walks you through food groups, your mindset, how to handle parties, how to shop, etc in videos from a registered dietitian who lost 100 lbs herself on the plan. Then you simply eat 3 meals a day plus an optional snack following a plate it method - so there isn't portioning but a % of your plate are different food groups. This one really helps me not think about food all the time, but teaches me how to cook to enjoy lots of veggies. I am a certified mentor for this program and just love it!

Shakeology is a superfood protein shake that has tons of amazing ingredients and benefits all in a simple glass. We usually blend them with ice and other clean mix ins like spinach and fruit for a filling and delicious snack or meal. I love my cafe latte smoothie each morning on my way to work.

Also - only for members of our team- there is an added FULL weekly menu, recipes, and shopping lists called Dinners on Demand that is included with the accountability group! It's created specifically for our programs by a registered dietitian! (It's amazing!)

Then, I'll guide you to some great podcasts or books to help get your mind in the game. We want to pick a book to read together that will help us with our health & with teaching.

There is also an opportunity for you to earn income and duplicate this program with your own staff and community! I"m looking for teachers who want to influence and encourage their staff into a healthy lifestyle!

The cost depends on which nutrition plan you want to start with. - but it ranges from $200 + for an entire year! Perfect for a teacher budget AND schedule!

Does this sound like it might help you meet any goals, too? Message me back and we can discuss these options to personalize them for you!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Eat Those Veggies!


Did you know that I used to be a salad chef at a small foodie cafe by my parent's house? I seriously took PRIDE in crafting  each salad for the patron. I wanted them to look like art! Perfectly rowed Cobbs, the chopsticks and umbrella perched perfectly in the Asian, the chicken cut on the bias to be as juicy as it could be atop of the bed of romaine and anchovies. I would carefully place that salad in the window and be so excited as I knew it would be presented with flourish.

But we hear so many limiations with health/fitness programs about salads and I'm always looking at the calories and freaking out - so boy was I thrilled to hear this straight from the creator of the nutrition program I am becoming a certified mentor for! (Soooo cool to be on the front lines of this!)

"It is most important for you to have a positive association with vegetables - and for your kids to see you have a  positive association with vegetables!" 

So eat the decadent restaurant salad, put the cheese on the broccoli, blend the spinach into shakes! Just get the nutritious veggies in your body! 

My favorite way these days is to order the amazingly prepared veggie sides at restaurants.  The lemon asparagus, the sauteed garlicky green beans, or tonight the roasted Brussels with the caper aioli at Pizza Luce.  The chefs KNOW how to make these things delicious - even if you don't at home.  

Change your thought from "ugh, I have to eat boring salad" to "YES, salads someone else prepares are always better than the ones I make at home!"

If you want more veggie tips, I got em with this positive weightloss program - so PM me, or hey, share your fav veggie thoughts below! We can learn from each other!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

We are enough!

Sometimes I write the words I need to hear most. So I'll repeat them again.


I've been struggling with this lately more then usual. I am very aware my posts on SM here are the highlights WAY more than the low lights. Doesn't everyone do that? But as I prepared for a meeting with some rockstar teammates of mine and before our chat honestly felt like I wasn't on their level- it hit me.

Sometimes I don't feel worthy.

Worthy of having this amazing life and family, worthy of my position at work, worthy of spending time with these really cool girls, worthy of a trip I was invited to, worthy of my amazeballs jobs.

I feel blessed to have so many people tell me I AM worthy. But then I look at some library colleagues, those coaches I met with yesterday, other moms, other wives and I compare. "But they are doing such amazing things! I don't know how they fit it all in when I'm scrambling to harmonize my life."

This comparison encourages me to retreat into myself and give up on my efforts to try something new. This perception into their lives makes me feel that mine isn't good enough. And it's because of me.

But then when I really sit down and think about it. Like really. I am reminded that


If I only look at MY life, and instead of saying "must be nice" and comparing-  I actually TALK to those I look up to- and I always find that we aren't really as far apart as I thought.

I talk to other moms who are just as frazzled with the constant "momomomomom"

I talk to other librarians that don't do more than me, just different things. And if I ask for something specific, they always share and inspire me.

I talk to other coaches that are struggling with the same problems I am in all aspects of their biz and health and yesterday it felt like they were speaking from my brain.

I talk to friends about marriage and realize that this season of little kids is HARD for every couple. In fact one simple question resulted in tears of relief from both of us. WE ARE NOT ALONE!

Do you see what's happening? When I stay silent, I feel ashamed and afraid and unworthy. But when I talk to people- reach out and ask- not only do I feel better but I realize that my question helps them feel connected, too.

Even when they have the part I'm currently struggling with already figured out, I am reminded that the success that seems so unreachable to me really is possible. Because they did it and it wasn't easy.

So when I end these posts with a "PM me and we'll chat" it might be because I'm too afraid to start the conversation myself. Because I don't feel I am worthy of your time.

Do you connect with this? What are you struggling with? What makes you feel unworthy? Chances are I need the conversation just as much as you do. ❤️  And I promise I will dig deep and remind you:

πŸ“Έ: Laura Banken Photography

Friday, November 24, 2017

The 4-Hour Workweek

The 4-Hour Workweek The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What an encouragement to dream!

His approach doesn't really work well with teaching - since he encourages you to start working from home ASAP, but there are so many nuggets in here that I can apply. Like freeing up time by "Batching" and letting go of a lot. He tells you right away this isn't a book about getting rich with money - but instead using what you currently have to life a life of your dreams. - and maybe even outsourcing emails to your own Personal Assistant in India. Not as crazy at it sounds... It's quite a fascinating process that's already ruminating inside my dream center :) My only criticism is how long it is for the audiobook. He reads a lot of facts/figures that if I was reading the book instead of listening would be skim pages. But I finished it to the end in the 3 week check-out from the library. Try it! - I want to hear YOUR dreams.

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The 5 Second Rule

The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday CourageThe 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Freaking MIC DROP!

First of all, Mel's voice and flow on the audiobook is really fun to listen to. It's one of those where you feel like she is standing with you as you clean your kitchen, holding a cup of coffee and sharing her life story. Though repetitve for a reason, it's never boring, absolutely accessable for EVERYONE no matter what you are trying to change in your life from getting out of bed earlier, to finishing that load of laundry, to asking your boss for a raise. The story she told at the end with the story of her dad brought me to tears of absolute connection with my own life.

Watch for a virtual book club on this one someday in the next year. WOW! 5 seconds really can change your life.

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

I won't walk away from hard things.

I've been hiding in a land of bunny rabbits πŸ‡and rainbows 🌈.  For the last year - it's been about survival. I've buried myself in self help books and positivity.  This is easy for me.  I'm part of so many different positive groups, that it's really easy to avoid the negativity.  I mean - every day, I have people on videos and in person telling me I'm strong and amazing.  πŸ˜ƒ  I've stopped watching the news, stopped reading the paper, stopped scrolling Facebook for hours.  I mindfully walk away from sadness, empathy, and struggle.  I know what happens to me if I don't.

I took a risk this semester and have enrolled in a class I have wanted to be a part of for several years. It's a book and film study about immigrants and refugees.  I serve so many families who are from other countries that I knew that I would benefit from the exposure and discussion. After this weekend - I kind of want to quit.  But I won't. I can't. I need this.

I knew a long drive to my scrapbook retreat would be a great place to listen to the first book.  I'll never do that again.  On the way there, I cried so so so much.  I remembered why I have turned away from the sorrow and fear in the world.  The whole weekend, I was haunted by the images of a small boy slowly dying due to a sickness I am sure would have been treatable if his circumstances were different. I listened to the women at the retreat talk about small ailments of their children, and could only think about the words I listened to hours before and didn't want to remember.  I wanted to run home and hug my kids.  My healthy kids - free from fear - who were crying over a "spot on the couch" instead of pain that would lead to death.  A weekend retreat of joy and memories was clouded by reflection and sorrow -over a fictional someone - set in a real a situation that happened over 15 years ago - but felt so real and current in my car on a long drive. I finished the book on my drive home, and while I smiled at parts and forced myself to focus on the immigrant story in the US - the boy continued to haunt the story for me.  I can only guess that in my discussion on Wednesday, others will see the hope and find the positive.  I usually do that to, but today I am stuck.  I'm stuck with the brilliant author's words that forced my mind to create images so real that I'm still having a hard time looking at my sweethearts playing in the bath without the images from the story in my head.

This is why I hide from the negative and RUN πŸƒ to the positive.  I have to.  I struggle to let go - then I get overwhelmed.  But I know - from so much of what HAS happened to me over the last year - and those voices I hear everyday telling me that "It doesn't get easier, You get stronger" that this just might be an area of myself that needs strength. So tonight, I'm hugging them closer, plugging into some of my positive outlets that I am beyond grateful that I have, and bracing myself for feeling this way again when I read the next book.  But that isn't "due" for a couple of months. I'm not quitting, but until then, you can find me back in the land of positivity including those cozy bunny rabbits πŸ‡ and bright 🌈 rainbows. What have you tackled to better yourself and make yourself stronger? I'd love to chat about it. ❤❤   Seriously, I need the distraction. πŸ˜‰

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding JoyOption B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg

I loved this. The content here allows people to really feel what it is like to lose someone close to them. It also provides research and perspective on how to help others deal with grief. loss, and trauma. I chose this book after hearing Sheryl on MPR talking about her collaboration with Adam Grant on this. She shared some of her story and also said that this book should be in the "Help Others" section of the bookstore. After reading it, I felt more confident in helping my dear friends and husband deal with their grief, recognize some of my own feelings, and even make connection for the students I work with. I smiled and cried many times as I really took in the ideas.

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