Did You Know I Have A Newsletter?


If you’re looking for a little healthy inspiration, why not subscribe to my weekly wellness newsletter? It’s a short read that’s full of useful and approachable stuff.

The Midweek Mashup began as a way for me to quickly share small bites of useful health and wellness information with people, and it has really taken off. Every week I relish finding just the right news tidbit, recipe, and favorite thing or life hack to share with my readers. And it’s resonating! Blog posts are fantastic, but more and more I find that people want small pieces of useful info that they can easily assimilate vs. longer posts about a single topic.

But don’t take my word for it! Believe the readers who write me every week to tell me how useful and helpful they find it. I love receiving these email responses, they really do make my week.

I’ll still update the blog. I’ve been writing it so long that it feels like home to me. But, please do sign up for the email newsletter too. I promise you’ll look forward to getting it every Wednesday!

What is balance?

I am a wellness educator. I know the right vitamins and supplements to take, and I know what foods to eat for optimal health. I know meditating each day helps keep my mood stable and immune system strong. I know that daily exercise outside will expose me to sunlight and fresh air, and that when I don’t get outside I start to go a little off the rails.

I know that if I try to do everything and be everything to everyone in my world, it feels good at the time but I pay for it dearly later on. Whether it’s with exhaustion, exasperation, or worse, it always comes back to bite me.

Recently I had six week stretch of time that was truly the busiest and most frenetic I’ve ever experienced. I loved most of it. I loved being productive, I loved that the golf events business I’ve been building experienced a surge of activity and that my business partner and I took the challenge and succeeded (and exceeded). I love that my daughter started a new adventure in high school and not only dove right into being involved and enthusiastic, but also made the tennis team (requiring a lot of parental involvement in the form of rides and a cheering section). I love that my wellness business is thriving and growing, too.

What I didn’t love: spending wayyyyyyy too much time sitting in a car. Whether battling traffic or sitting in the parking lot waiting for tennis practice to let out, it left me feeling cooped up and caged. I tried to set up my car to be comforting and useful, even putting a lavender essential oil diffuser in the vent. It helped to a certain extent but didn’t change that I was putting hundreds of miles in every few days. Not healthy for anyone.

I didn’t love being unwilling to let myself off the hook a little bit for doing all the same things I would under “normal” circumstances. I still expected myself to make dinners (failed), attend all the tennis matches (mixed), and be a completely present parent for my daughter’s first month of high school (probably not great). I don’t love that I threw everything I knew about self care and nutrition out the window. It felt a little freeing at the time, but as with most unhealthy practices, it ultimately wasn’t a good choice.

The result of all of this was feeling totally burnt out. Depleted. And sick. When everything wrapped up at the same time: my daughter’s tennis season, a big multi-year co-chair volunteer job, and the three golf tournaments in a row, I thought I would feel a sense of accomplishment and freedom. Instead I just felt…nothing. A classic sign of burnout.

The takeaway from this is NOT to scale back my work. No way. I love what I’m doing and I want MORE jobs, not less. Rather, it’s to stay mindful of the things I know will help me feel balanced and healthy when the flurry of activity comes to a halt. Meditation. Acupuncture. Walks with my dog. Good nutrition. Sleep. Yoga. ASKING FOR HELP. And setting good, old fashioned boundaries on what I’m willing to do. It’s my responsibility to set those boundaries, and like many women, I find it difficult to do. Luckily, life isn’t slowing down and I will have endless opportunities to practice these skills. Maybe, someday, I might even find balance.

I put a call out to my social media community for their thoughts on achieving balance, and this is what I heard. If anything, it was really comforting to know that we have all experienced similar challenges, and I hope you find it helpful, too. Here are a few responses:

“Healthy food, adequate sleep, moving my body and laughs/time with those I love (aka Crappy Dinner Party!)” — Deanna (my amazing friend and neighbor)

” I don’t think true balance is achievable. I feel like I have to intentionally take inventory of my priorities and what may need more of my attention on a particular day/week/month. I gave up trying to “have it all” a LONG time ago because it was making me crazy. Of course my children are my #1, but if I’m not working we don’t have the financial resources we also need as a family. Giving yourself grace as a working parent is also important because let’s face it, you’re going to get some things wrong. If we can give ourselves some forgiveness and bring a healthy dose of a sense of humor, we can navigate the “close to balance” goal in a more enjoyable way!” – Stacy

“(You) must be prepared to let go of things and be clear about boundaries to get close to work toward balance— always a work in progress tho!” – Molly

Please respond below with your thoughts on finding balance. Is it achievable? How do you approach it?

Recipes For Fresh Dill, Plus Freezing Instructions So You Can Enjoy All Year Long

Dill, the perfect summer herb

We have a plethora of fresh dill from our CSA box (not to mention more that neighbors have given to us). I have previously frozen oregano and thyme with wonderful results, and I am so excited to have a freezer bag of dill to use when the cold months arrive.

Dill is one of my favorite herbs (maybe my absolute favorite herb) and can be used in so many dishes. I am a big fan of using dill on my roasted salmon and chicken dishes year round. Check out this salmon recipe and this roasted chicken recipe for some great ideas.

In the meantime, this summer, try this delicious looking dill potato salad or this gorgeous easy cucumber dill salad with feta. And if you want to make your own easy refrigerator pickles, here’s your recipe. If you are as crazy about dill as I am and the thought of drinking a cocktail infused with this fabulous herb delights you, maybe try this one.

Wondering how to easily freeze your leftover dill? Simply rinse the bunch well, shake it out, and place on a cookie sheet. Flash freeze it, then transfer to a gallon ziplock baggie or other freezer safe container. When you want to use it later this year, simply snip off a piece and throw it in your dish. Easy!

MayCember Meditation

It’s a stressful time for a lot of people — teachers/school employees, parents and kids, especially. Some people call May “MayCember” because it’s the time of year when there are a million extra activities on top of all the other normal everyday stuff you have to get done. It’s a lot.

So, today, I’m just leaving this beautiful image right here for you to gaze at for five seconds while drinking your morning coffee and contemplating the never ending to-do list. I hope you have some time this weekend to just relax and be still. It might seem frivolous to do nothing. Trust me, it’s essential from time to time. Did you know five seconds of being mindful of your breathing and nothing else counts as meditation?

I want to be on this boat right now with a thermos of hot coffee and a really good book.

2019 Summer Intentions

For the last couple of years, I have shared my intentions and goals for the summer. You can find them here and here. I’m fortunate to have a job I can do at home, on my own schedule (hello, entrepreneurship!). This means that I have a lot of unstructured time during the summer, in between driving my teen to tennis and golf and time with her friends at the pool and babysitting jobs and all the other things teens need. I like to use this time and the warmer weather to pursue some things I have neglected.

With the school year winding down and summer break at the doorstep, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish this summer and what my priorities are. I always use the change of seasons to reboot my priorities and rethink how I do things, rather than just thinking about it once a year in January.

Here are the goals I have for this summer:

  1. Exercise early in the morning, when the kid is still asleep. I’m lucky enough to have a husband that brings me coffee in bed before he leaves for work around 6:30 every morning. When it’s cold and dark out, I cozy up under the covers and read the news. Now that it’s light and warm, I plan to get my exercise done early while my daughter is still asleep so the rest of the day can be spent doing other things.
  2. Be more intentional about my snacks. I golf a lot, and I usually need a snack during my round because I walk and carry my bag, which uses a lot of calories. Did you know the average person burns about 700-1,400 calories golfing and carrying, depending on if they play 9 or 18 holes? Good nutrition on the golf course is important. But finding easy and nutritious snacks I can cram in my golf bag isn’t that simple. I’ve been compiling a list of ideas and will be posting them shortly!
  3. Continue strength training. When I wrote my summer intentions post last year, I shared that I hate strength training, and that I couldn’t make myself do it no matter how hard I tried. Well, last fall I finally bit the bullet and hired a trainer. It’s only 30 minutes once a week, but I’m stronger and fitter thanks to her. And I actually enjoy my sessions. Unfortunately, we put our gym membership on hold for the summer, so I’m going to have to find a solution for June, July and August. I’m committed, though. Look for an update on how I’ve solved this.
  4. Be a little selfish. After a long winter an entire lifetime of going out of my way to please people and make sure their needs and wants are met, many times at the detriment to what *I* need and want, I’ve realized some things. Of particular interest to me is that our bodies come equipped with internal homing devices that give us guidance. Some of us stop being attuned to these devices because we are so used to putting other people ahead of ourselves that we go on autopilot. But if we practice taking a beat and being quiet with ourselves when posed with a request, that little voice will guide us. I’ve heard people say “If it’s not a hell yes it’s a hell no” and while I love the beautiful simplicity of that, it really can’t be that simple. Sometimes we do have to do things we don’t want (I’m looking at you mammogram). But we also need to realize that for every “yes” we give someone, we are saying “no” to something else. So, balance is really my goal this summer and beyond.
  5. Stop multitasking. It doesn’t work. Studies show we actually get *less* done when we multitask. It also tends to contribute to stress and anxiety, as well as the feeling that you aren’t fully present in your life. I’m a serial multitasker. I’m going to work on that this summer. I think a lot about something my friend Tera said recently, which is “slow down to speed up”. When we slow down and become intentional with our actions, our words, and our deeds, we actually save time vs. making mistakes and having to fix them. Like when I recently tried to carry every single thing from the car into the house while holding my cup of coffee and I spilled it all over the shoes in the mudroom and had to spend a lot of time cleaning up the mess. We could all reduce the messes, both proverbial and literal, if we just slow down a little.

So that’s it! Keep a look out for an update on these goals at the end of June or early July. I’ll give you an honest assessment of how successful I’ve been at sticking with my intentions. And I’d love to hear from you — what are your intentions and goals for the next few months? Please comment!

You might also like: The Pimms Cup

From The Annals Of “Crazy Stuff Holistic Nutritionists Say”

Disclaimer: I am technically a holistic nutritionist. Here in the state of Minnesota we have laws against using the term “nutritionist” without having an RD, so I practice as a Wellness Educator. I am passionate about using food and other modalities such as meditation, movement, supplements and other complimentary methods to achieve wellness. However, my beliefs and recommendations are also firmly rooted in science. I believe in having research and proof to back up my methods. It’s important for people to be able to really trust me.

So, yesterday on my alumni Facebook page, a fellow alum asked for recommendations to prevent traveler’s diarrhea while on vacation in Costa Rica. I have studied this topic extensively for my own personal use, as we travel to Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico frequently. So, I suggested Florastor (which is a probiotic specifically studied and proven effective for preventing Traveler’s Diarrhea) and Pepto Bismol taken 3x daily (which is also studied for this purpose). I also said that if she wasn’t crazy about taking Pepto, I thought DGL would probably do the same thing. DGL is an all natural demulcent made from licorice which coats the lining of the GI tract. The reason why Pepto is recommended is because it also coats the lining, ostensibly preventing nasty bugs, bacteria and parasites from doing damage. Logically, both Pepto and DGL would likely achieve the same effect.

This is where things got interesting. Someone else from my alumni cohort chimed in saying that Pepto Bismol is a “super toxic soup” and because she didn’t like the ingredients they couldn’t possibly be effective. I pointed out that just because she didn’t like the ingredients didn’t mean they weren’t effective. Science doesn’t work that way.

Listen, you can absolutely hate the artificial colors and other weird binding agents these medications use. You can decide not to use them because of this personal belief. However, when giving advice to a client, I advise against using terminology like “super toxic soup” because 1) It isn’t scientifically accurate and 2) It makes you sound ill informed. 

We went back and forth a little bit, but rather than provide scientific information as backup for her claims, she dug her heels in even more. Just because we graduated with the same certification from the same program doesn’t mean we have the same approach to providing care. My approach is firmly rooted in science and is compassionate, non-judgmental and kind. I refuse to be a fear monger. That kind of approach, in my opinion, is what gives the rest of us holistic nutritionist a very bad reputation. I’m doing my part, little by little, to change that perception!

New Recipe: Cold Sesame Noodles (And More On Healthy Portable Dinners)

It’s activity season in Minnesota, and it’s probably the same where you live. If you have a school aged child, chances are you are spending a good amount of time shuttling them from one activity to another. My teenage daughter is in drama club, rugby, and she takes tennis lessons. The maneuvering required to keep one kid’s schedule straight is a feat in and of itself. I don’t know how people with multiple kids even do it!

Because my daughter goes to school 25 minutes away, it doesn’t make sense to come home and then go back to school for rugby practice at 6 p.m. So, she either goes to drama club or stays and does homework, and I bring her dinner for her break before practice. I’m not the best at coming up with travel friendly healthy dinners, so I am going to start compiling a list. If I get enough suggestions, I will share the file!

I did find this recipe for Cold Sesame Noodles and it looks delicious. I’m trying it out tonight. A friend of mine also recommended these Breakfast Burritos that her kids love.

Ok, so here is where I ask you to help me! Comment below with your favorite portable meals and I will start a file.