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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Can Essential Oils Help Sell A Home? Looking for Realtors in Minneapolis.

Think back to your childhood.  Are there certain smells that make you think of home, Christmas, or your family?  The sense of smell is one of the strongest senses in our bodies.   For me it is the smell of onions and celery being sauteed in butter that makes me think of my Mother's home made stuffing.  Bacon frying in the morning, brings me back to our lake home and my Dad making breakfast.  Chocolate chip cookies after school?  The smell of a fire outside.  So many smells bring immediate comfort and great memories.

These memories are not just your imagination.  There is actual science behind this.  I find it fascinating!

Here is a great article:

If you follow me at all you know we are on a mission to eliminate as many chemicals as we can from our homes.  I will be writing another post about detoxing your home another time.  There are so many chemicals in your home!

I know a lot of people that are currently selling their homes.  I have seen many in the neighborhood that have been on the market for a very long time.   You hear about people cooking fresh cookies during an open house.  Of course many people have the plug in air fresheners, burn candles and spray air fresheners that they use before an open house.  Read more about that here:

Here is a report on the potential dangers of some candles as well.

I don't mean to overwhelm you with facts, science and details.

So I started thinking.

Could a diffuser and essential oils help sell a home?

I reached out to a couple of realtors that I know and they said, you shouldn't have any scents during an open house.  I find that interesting based on what I hear about people with cookies and air

fresheners etc.   For example lets say you diffuse an oil like Christmas Spirit that is orange, cinnamon and spruce.  The scent is absolutely heavenly!  It brings back memories of Christmas a warm home and a fire in the fire place.  It is also great for lifting your mood and removing potential decision making blocks which is good for the seller and the buyer!

Another blend would be Citrus Fresh.  This is a blend of uplifting, bright Orange, Tangerine, Grapefruit, Lemon, Mandarin, and Spearmint oils.  For me it brings thoughts of a summer day.

Purification would be another choice. a blend of Citronella, Lemongrass, Lavandin, Rosemary, Tea Tree, and Myrtle essential oils.  This would be my choice for anyone home that might have pets.  It is fresh and eliminates any potential odors.

Of course this is all without any chemicals.  You can control the strength of the scents by limiting the amount of oils you put in the diffuser!

Here is a great abstract on the concept of ambient fragrance.

Don't believe me?  Here is another great article.

So here is what I am looking for.  I am a show me kind of person.  This has been our journey with essential oils since we got started.  We started with what I like to call skeptical optimism.   Read more about that here:

I am looking for a couple of local realtors (Minneapolis, MN area) that have a house on the market that would like to borrow a diffuser and some oils.  It certainly can't hurt and I can guarantee that it starts some great conversations.  All I ask for in return is if you have someone with questions on the oils or diffusers, you give them my business card.  Fair is fair right?

I would love to see if it actually works!

Interested in trying?  PM me or comment on this post.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fishing Memories & Silence

I know what you are asking, what does fishing have to do with becoming whole?  To me becoming whole is about learning exactly what it is in your life that makes you complete.  What holes do you have in your soul that need to be filled. 

My parents bought a lake home when I was 2.  They loved it there.  To say I grew up there is an understatement.  We were there every single weekend from late spring until late fall.  That place was as much my home, as much a part of me as anywhere else.  Maybe even more so.  The time that we spent there as a family was precious.  I was with my Mother and Dad and they were 'present' with me at all times.

We did not have a television up there when I was younger.  Actually when we put one in, I hated it.  But that is another story.  We played cards, we went for walks, and of course WE WENT FISHING.  We fished off the dock, in a fishing boat (going backwards round and round Little Island) we took the pontoon to Aitkin lake to catch sunnies.

When I was younger, I certainly didn't understand the joy of silence.  I remember Crappie fishing.  Apparently the Crappie's are easily spooked.  We would row or paddle in silently and drop your line next to a lily pad.   Invariably I would clunk the side of the boat, stomp my feet, or speak too loudly.  He never got angry with me.  We would just move to the other side of the pads. It took many years but I believe this process taught me so much.  This is something I cannot repay.

I remember the first big fish I caught as a kid.  Let's face it, fishing was BORING.  We sat on the end of the small boat dock.  This was the old wooden dock with the big heavy steel posts.  I had a small cane pole.  He would show me how to throw the line out into the water and watch my bobber.   There was no excitement in watching.  I wanted to "cast" the line out.  Of course there was no casting with a cane pole, but what did I know.

I kept pulling the line in and putting the line out again.  Then it happened.  I pulled the line in and a HUGE (remember I was probably 3 or 4) Northern Pike jumped out of the water and chased the line.  I was terrified.  My eyes were huge and we quickly put the pole back in the water.  Sure enough we hooked the big Northern and Daddy helped me haul it in.  I learned a little bit of the value of patience that day and the love of an amazing Daddy.  I didn't realize it at the time, but clearly that memory has stayed with me for many years.  He was very proud and so was I.

As I grew older and was working, I would stay over Sunday night and drive home very early for work on Monday mornings.  Sunday nights were amazing.  The lake was quiet, no boats or jet skis zipping by.  Dad and I would get the boat ready and head out.  It was quiet.  Sometimes we fished in a content and comfortable silence.  So many sounds and memories of the sounds.  Loons, geese, ducks, the breeze in the trees. Those sounds take me immediately back to those times.  If you have ever experienced that, it is amazing.   Other times, we talked, we talked a lot.  We talked about work, relationships, life.  I treasure those moments.  We were present.

Life is so hectic, it is sometimes hard to be present with my family and especially my children.  I am tired, I am drained by so many things.  We don't go to the lake anymore, it belongs to my brother.  We don't have a boat.  My son asks to go fishing, we don't take him.  We are terrible parents right?  I miss that quiet.  I miss that time.  No electronics, no music, just God's music and a relationship with a wonderful man and woman.  A Mother and a Father.

Something our children are missing in their lives is learning to be still and silent.  We will work on finding time for that.  Time to listen to the sounds of nature, to your heart, to the voice of God.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

You Are Beautiful

I really truly believe that everyone is beautiful.  Is everyone model status?  Is everyone movie star status?  Absolutely not.  But (yes I am starting a sentence with a preposition) I believe everyone has something beautiful.  Your eyes, your heart, oh and guess what your soul.

The other day someone I know on Facebook made a post that said something along the lines of, "I am sitting at the doctor's office.  A woman is staring at me.  I don't think she has ever seen a fat person before".  I replied to her comment and said, "I am sure it is because she thinks you are beautiful".  Her first response to me disturbed me.  It was something like, "I don't think so".    So I put on my positive lecture hat and said,  "Friend (name omitted) we need to work on your attitude so that you know you absolutely are beautiful!"  Her response troubled me even more, "No thanks Lori, I don't want to be delusional".  She made a couple of other negative comments to other posters as well.

There were so many emotions that ran through me.  First I was incredulous, then I was actually wounded.  Here I am trying to do something nice for someone and they don't appreciate it.  Seriously, that went through my head.  I ripped off a very mature, "Well, OK then.  Nevermind".  I left that there for about 30 seconds and then went and deleted all my comments on the thread.

I was stunned by many things.

  1. I was incredibly sad that someone was that down on themselves
  2. I was a little incredulous that no one had taught her how to take a compliment (a pet peeve of mine)
  3. I started to analyze why I had posted the original comment.
I will come back to number 2 some day in another post.

Let's look at number 3 for a minute.  Why did I post that comment?  Was it to make her feel better?  Was it to make me feel like a hero?  I started to feel like I wasn't doing it for the right reasons?  Did I want her to say, "Why thank you Lori, you are so sweet!".  Why did I get so angry at her comment?  What was my goal?

I actually thought about this for a long time.  As I said at the beginning, I truly believe everyone is beautiful.  God made us in his image.  Is God beautiful?  If we are made in God's image don't we all HAVE to be beautiful?  At least I believe everyone starts with the same potential to be beautiful.  I am not talking about physical beauty.  What I do KNOW is God loves all of us. I know he thinks we are all beautiful.  We all have a purpose in life if we are willing to listen to God to learn and understand what he wants for us and of us.  

I was happy to come to the realization that I didn't make that comment for myself.  I really thought a compliment might make her feel a little better about herself.

I also really do believe she is beautiful. She is a musician and plays beautiful music - just that - by itself - makes her beautiful to me.  She is using a gift that God gave her to create a thing of beauty.   Society today tends to focus on the media, movie-star, model "image" of beauty.  But that is about making money, period.  Beauty is so much more to me.

Merriam- Websters definition of beauty.   Hello - that sure says to me that you can find beauty in many things!

Full Definition of BEAUTY

:  the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit :  loveliness
:  a beautiful person or thing; especially :  a beautiful woman
:  a particularly graceful, ornamental, or excellent quality
:  a brilliant, extreme, or egregious example or instance <that mistake was a beauty>



P.S.  I went back to her page to look at the exact wording of her/my comments.  The thread is gone.  Maybe I got through just a tiny bit?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Loving a Litte Lemon

My husband and I own a trade show exhibit company.  We have owned the company for 11 years.  There is a lot of blood sweat and tears that have gone into Total Displays.  We bought the company with an SBA loan.  The SBA had a claim on everything but that is another story probably for the Total Displays blog someday.  We weathered the crash of the economy and our numbers are stronger every year.

We have a large showroom.  The trade show industry is an interesting animal.  There are people that work out of their homes, their basement, or even their van.  Of course these "companies" have very little overhead.  But the issue is if you want to see product, unless it is portable, you can't!  We felt is was important from a service level to have a showroom where people could see a sampling of what we do and some of the products.  To me it is a touch me, feel me industry.

In 2009 we moved into a larger space to have more showroom and warehouse space (we store a lot of booths for our clients).  While moving in, we were hanging a large overhead in our showroom.  They used a cherry picker/lift to hang it from the ceiling.   During the process, some transmission fluid leaked onto the showroom carpet.  We tried everything to get it out.  Many of the products we used, I felt like I needed to wear a gas mask while using them.  The chemical smells were so horrible!

We are working with a prospect from out of town on an island booth and they came to the showroom.  The stain always bothered me and I felt like we weren't representing ourselves well.  I know, may sound crazy to most.  Sorry - impressions matter!

So what does that have to do with Lemon Essential Oil?

I have read so many times that lemon essential oil was a good stain remover.  I had never really tried it.  So I got out my lemon oil.  I put about 10-12 drops on the spot.  I took a kitchen towel and wet a corner and scrubbed.  I didn't scrub very hard or very long honestly.    I called for Judy and said, "Oh my word!  Look at this."  The stain was gone!  That stain has been here for 6 years.

We were planning on redoing the showroom this summer and we were going to have to throw away that carpet away and replace it.  This is a huge money saver for us.  Let's look at the math.

A 15ml bottle of lemon oil with tax and shipping for a wholesale member is $20.90.  Conservatively there are 250 drops in a 15 ml bottle.  That is a price per drop of: .0836.  I used 12 drops.  

That means it cost me $1.0032 to save a 20 x 20 piece of carpeting in our showroom.  

Absolutely amazing.

I have always said, as a family, we approached the oils with skeptical optimism.  I continue to be amazed by the oils and use them everyday.

Here is where I get my oils.  Young Living Essential Oils


Master Cleanse - Day 3 & 4 - HOLY CRAP

Day 3

Really, really, really, feeling weird.  I tried to have a rational conversation with my teenage daughter in the morning.  That is a bit of an oxymoron in it's own right.  Let's just say it did not go well.  At all.  Actually it was horrible.  We both ended up yelling and I started crying and seriously could not stop!!!!!  All day long I was weepy.  I walked out on my choir kids at church on Wednesday night.  I found I was really missing my Mom.  When the Pastor (a long time friend) at church gave me a hug I just about lost it.  When the girls I had walked out on in choir came up to join the confirmation band I hugged them and got all teary eyed.  I am sure there were more.  I WAS A MESS!

I reached out to Isa in my Young Living family.  She has done this cleanse before.  I asked her if this was normal.  Normal is not usually a word that I would use to describe myself but I felt completely out of control.  She explained to me that we carry a lot of our emotional baggage in our liver and that the Master Cleanse was detoxifying your liver!  So all those emotions were being released.  She suggested some great emotional essential oils and a baking soda/epsom salt bath.  I used some Joy, Frankincense and Believe.  I felt better almost immediately.  Of course that wasn't until we got home at about 10:00 p.m. that night.  What a day!

I took the laxative tea late morning and of course it hit, while I was driving my son home.  Really wasn't sure I was going to make it but I did!

While we were at our son's baseball game I had a huge realization.  I said to my husband, "I'm hungry" then I said, "no I'm not hungry, I just WANT  food".  Wow - I said.  I eat, not because I am hungry, but because... because why?  Why do I eat?  Emotional satisfaction, boredom, stress, frustration.  Oh yeah - all those reasons.  None of those are the right reasons!  What a mental breakthrough for me.

Ask yourself, what is your relationship with food.  I have in previous journey's identified my bewitching hour.  This is the period right after I get home from school with the kids.  Usually about 3:30 p.m.  I almost binge eat during that time. Am I really hungry?  Probably not, there is some trigger, an emotional release that the work day is mostly over?  I don't know.  But identifying those triggers have been key for me learning more about my relationship with food.

For some reason yesterday while I was driving, I noticed the skin on my hands.  The top of my hands were wrinkled and I felt like they belonged to a 100 year old.  I have very long fingers and always thought I had beautiful hands.  I was kind of sad to notice the signs of aging in my hands.  How is that for a random thought and observation.  See below for more on this.

Day 4

Oh my....

I woke up this morning and felt absolutely horrible.  Beyond horrible.  I was clammy, nauseous, and shaky.  Of course my family started on the, "you need to eat today", "this diet isn't healthy" routine.  I made a lemonade and drank it on the way to school.  I started feeling better almost immediately.

As I was thinking through the chaos that was yesterday.  I believe I only had 3 cups of the lemonade.  I am sure my blood sugar was way way way way out of whack and that is why I felt so horrible.

I pinged Isa (what a lifesaver she has been through this process). She agreed I needed to drink more and I needed to do a "salt flush".  Here is my recommendation if you decide to try the salt flush in your journey.  DON'T BE FAR FROM THE BATHROOM.  Holy crap!  Literally - Holy Crap.  I have never gone to the bathroom so much.  Of course, I guess, that is what you are supposed to do.  That is a good thing.  You are cleaning everything out.

 I was just about ready to move a table in the bathroom and just work in there.  Seriously crazy stuff.

While at work today, an employee said to me that she thought my skin looked brighter and clearer.  I hadn't noticed but I looked at my hands.  Seriously - they looked better!  Cleaning out your systems, ingesting a lot of clean water all seem to be making a difference.  I actually read a review from someone that thought that their eyes looked bluer when they had completed the 10 days.

Drinking my tea, hoping to sleep through the night.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Master Cleanse Days 1 & 2 - True Confessions

I AM BACK!  Did you miss me?

A little background.  I completed my 30 day challenge a while back and felt pretty good.  I was going to continue on with some exercise classes.  I went to two of them and tweaked my back.  Actually did a number on it.  I could barely walk and could not get up and down from a chair.  I should point out, that I am not a young chicken, but you are never too late to start a more healthy lifestyle.  Period.  Next month I will be 54 years young.

I lost 3 weeks of exercise and 3 of the 5 weeks I had paid for.  Ouch - that hurt.  Of course along with that, my eating habits went out the window or maybe I should say they went to restaurants and non-healthy food.  I was eating so much garbage, I felt sluggish, I wasn't sleeping and of course I gained some (not all) of the weight back that I lost.  I felt gross.

I study and read a lot about essential oils because of my use of Young Living oils.  I am always reading and educating myself on their benefits.  I heard about a program called Master Cleanse.  Master Cleanse is a lemonade diet (more details to follow).  I am supporting some systems with essential oils too.  I have done some 3 day juice cleanses in the past and they are pretty easy.  But I sure wasn't sure about this lemonade diet.

I will tell you my protocol, but honestly if you are considering doing this, you really need to get the book, read it and follow it!

If you are interested in the book here is a link to it on Amazon.  I have it on my Kindle.  It was all of $3.99 for my Kindle.

If you are uncomfortable or squeamish reading about someone's bodily functions and elimination processes, don't read any further.  The master cleanse is all about detoxifying and cleaning things out!


Drink 6-12 cups per day (please read the book and don't just follow what I did)

  • 2 Tbps fresh squeezed organic lemon juice
  • 2 Tbps Grade B Maple Syrup (honestly I don't know why the grade B - the book lists many options)
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • Distilled or Spring Water
Laxative tea - I used Smooth Move Chocolate 1-2 times per day.

Water and herbal tea - DRINK LOTS!  Be sure it is spring or distilled water.  Of course if you are putting oils in your water, use glass!

This is my new favorite water bottle made from recycled glass.

I got mine at Lakewinds.

The first two days were pretty non eventful.  Everyone can survive 2 days of liquid diet.  Things start to get interesting day 3 - so stay tuned.

Day 1

The taste of the lemonade is actually refreshing.  I didn't have cayenne pepper so I used chili powder in the first drink.  I really did not feel that hungry throughout the day.    I have read differing opinions on the water, some say, not hot and others say warm.  I have been using room temperature water.  As recommended by the plan I drank a laxative tea at night.   When I went to bed that night, my stomach was really gurgling.  Oh yeah big time.  About 3 a.m. I was awake and made the mad dash to the bathroom.  Let's just say that the tea worked.

I supplemented with Grapefruit oil rubbed on my abdomen.  Peppermint oil on my abdomen when my stomach was gurgling and Endoflex on my thyroid.  I added grapefruit oil to my water.  Now before someone gets on the "you shouldn't ingest oils" bandwagon.  Let me just say it is a personal choice and it is MY choice.  Nothing you say will convince me that Young Living oils are not safe for ingestion.  I know they are.  Check out for more information on Young Living quality.  I will be getting my Ocotea this week in my oils shipment and will add that to the routine.

I did have a bit of a headache today.  May have been some withdrawal from all the crap I have been consuming!  A little Peppermint oil and M-Grain oil did the trick.  Poof - headache gone!

Of course I dropped some water weight.  I have read a couple of places that this plan may (there is nothing scientific here folks) actually shrink fat cells in your body.  This is not so much about losing weight as it is about cleaning things up!

I do have to say though at the end of day 1 my stomach felt smaller.  That is a bonus.

Day 2

Again, not really that hungry.  I didn't want to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom so I skipped the tea.  You will find out in the next post that was a mistake.  I am really surprised my energy levels seem good.  I am not terribly tired.

Stay tuned tonight or tomorrow morning for day 3 & 4!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I Graduated To The Big Line - Arms, and Chest and Back Oh My! - Wellness Journey Post #9

I must be getting stronger.  Actually I know I am getting stronger.  Does that mean the workouts are easier?  No - not really but I am able to take fewer breaks and my endurance is better.

I must be getting stronger.  The other day one of my classmates came up to me and told me, "I just want to tell you that you look visibly smaller.  I know how hard you have been working."  I gave her a huge hug!  There is nothing better than having people notice that your body is changing.  You stand taller and prouder.

I must be getting stronger.  Also on Monday I was told my running form and stride was looking much better!  Oz is always telling me, "longer stride Lori, longer stride".  I nod and smile and my head tells my body, longer stride but my legs don't want to do it!

I must be getting stronger.  During our 20 minute warm up today (read work so hard that you think you are going to throw up) we did a lot of running.  Remember I am always over the the slow lane (note:  I used to call it the pathetic lane - but decided to change my language!).  Today he moved me over to the fast lane.  Yes these young, fit skinny people may have passed me but I was there!!!

Read this post for where I started!  Day 2 - Where it all started

I must be getting stronger.  During rope work, Oz is moving me to make the exercise more challenging, he is increasing my weight and not modifying so much for me!  I'll take it!

I must be getting stronger.  Monday we did a TON of arm work - a lot of triceps.  I was sore yesterday. Not unbearable but that nice - 'I worked out hard' sore.  Yes I actually like that feeling as long as I can still move.  So today I expect a little bit more legs - UH NO!  I WAS WRONG.  More arms, chest and back.  I pushed - but I am expecting to be sore.

Break out the oils because I don't want to lose any momentum.  I know the soreness means I am getting stronger but I can't quit or back down at all here in the home stretch!  Read here to see how the oils help me with muscle soreness!  They are little miracles in a bottle.

 Essential Oils for Muscle Soreness & Recovery

I know that end of this journey is just the beginning of the next journey.  I still have a lot of changes I want for my body.  


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I'm Not Perfect. Children and Diet - Wellness Journey Post #8

Our daughter is an athlete. She is a fast pitch pitcher.  She is a freshman in high school and she has coaches that believe in her.  They want to push her and to help her succeed.  As a 9th grader her coach has had her pitching against 18 year old teams and she has been very successful.  She has already had college coaches express an interest in her.  Yes I am a proud Mom.

Here is where I am not proud.  Our diets have gotten out of control. She loves sugar and carbs.  Yes I know she is young and that she can burn of the calories.  That is not the point.  I am not worried about her caloric intake I am worried about what she is putting in her body.  Cookies and chips will not fuel the kind of athlete she is and what she wants to become.

Even with my own poor eating and exercise habits this is something about which I am very passionate.  I have know for years what is the right thing to do and how to eat healthy, I just made the choice not to.  This is really important to understand.  It is not that I didn't have will power, it is not me saying, I can't".  It was I WOULDN'T.  I didn't care about myself enough to want to do it for me.  As a result I didn't do it for my family either.  I let them develop horrible habits.

I watched her team as 12U players at a State tournament.  Well meaning parents brought, cookies, ice cream, and cupcakes as snacks (read - rewards) for their hard work.  They had been playing really well and progressing through the tournament.  They had just won a game to progress to the next level.  They started the game really well.  As the game progressed, they started making mistakes.  These were mistakes that they had not made all weekend long.  I personally watched almost the entire team go through a sugar crash.  They ended up losing.  It was a tournament and season ending loss.  From that point on we made it very clear with our daughter that those sugary snacks/treats were not acceptable for her.  She hates to watch everyone else eat cookies,or cupcakes.  Or even worse... breakfast.  Watching players eat waffles with sugary fruit sauce and topped with whipped cream?  Oh my.  Protein, fruit and whole grains for our baby girl.  She has learned to appreciate it.  We won't even talk about what sugar does to your body, inflammation, disease and much much more.

If you want to read more about sugar, here is a good place to start.

This is the key.  Because we allowed these bad habits to creep into our lives and our children's diets, it is REALLY HARD to change these habits.  If I could give one word of advice to parents of young children it would be to stick with it!  It is too easy to grab a sugary granola bar or a cookie as a treat for your kids.  Treats should be that, a treat, not a multiple times a day experience.

My diet has completely changed.  Now I am working on my family.  One step at a time.  We have eliminated sugary sodas and drinks, eating more whole foods.  We will continue on the journey and learn to make better choices with the occasional "treat".

We stopped at a restaurant the other day in between softball events.  This is not a normal occurrence for us since I have been on this month long challenge.  I ordered a house salad with oil and vinegar on the side.  My husband ordered a salad, my son ordered a salad. My daughter wanted chicken fingers and french fries.  She felt guilty and ordered a salad.  I will take it. I prefer to look at the guilt as my being a good role model.  Change takes time and patience.


Monday, February 2, 2015

Sneak Peak Ahead - The Energizer Bunny - Journey to Wellness Post #7

As I said in my last post, I am massively behind in publishing blog posts!  Yesterday was the start of the last week of this program.  I have mixed emotions about this.  I have worked out harder the last three weeks than I ever have in my entire life.  I am tired - the schedule has been hard, but I don't honestly think I want the program to end.  I will have decisions to make when I am done.  I know one thing, I WILL NOT QUIT.  I said before and I will say again, I am not going to go through this and have to do this again.

I have done other programs, I have done other bootcamps, I have worked with personal trainers, lifted weights, and done the dreaded cardio (maybe someday I will like cardio?).

So you may want to know how I have done so far?  I am down 12 pounds in 3 weeks.  There are many other changes (some you may not want to know about) :)

  • My clothes fit better!  This means my fat clothes are too big!
  • The belts I got for Christmas fit now!
  • I have more energy
  • I don't have incontinence issues anymore (BIG BIG BIG YAY!)  There is nothing worse than cough or sneeze dribble.  The last thing you want to do in public is stop to hold yourself before you sneeze :) (Sorry TMI)
  • There is actually definition in my arms!
  • When I stand for 2 hours for a softball game, my back doesn't get sore anymore.
  • I am able to get up from the floor much easier!
  • My right hip pain is gone.
  • I sleep better
My routine has been intense.  There is no doubt.  But I am a 52 year old Wife, Mother & Business Owner.  I really was not in shape - so if I can do it - SO CAN YOU!

Here was my basic routine.
Monday - HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
Tuesday - Hot Yoga & Cardio (30 minutes)
Wednesday - HIIT
Thursday - Cardio
Friday - Barre Class & Cardio if my body could take it!
Saturday - Bootcamp Class
Sunday - Usually a rest day.

Now let me tell you about Oz the Energizer Bunny.  The man has boundless energy.  He is patient, yet pushes.  I need the push sometimes.  These classes are hard!  HIIT classes start with 20 minutes of cardio type exercises to get your heart rate going.  After the 20 minutes it is a combination of strength, core and cardio moves for the remaining 40 minutes.  There really are no breaks.  

Oz has springs in his feet (you should see him jump).  All I could do was keep moving and try to improve my form, range of motions, weight and reps.  When I would try to cheat and use a lighter weight, he would challenge me.  When I just had to say no (like to doing handstand push ups) he is still supportive.  Note:  Handstand push ups are now on my fitness bucket list - more on that later.

Oh - and I should mention, other than the all natural essential oils I used for pain relief, I used no wraps, no pills, no pink drinks, no shakes, no magic potions.  Just sweat and a good diet.

Pretty great stuff huh?  And guess what - I worked hard - and I deserve it!  Am I done?  No, it is a journey.


The Bewitching Hour & Barre Class- Wellness Journey Post #6

I have been very behind on writing this week.  You will find out why a little later in the post.  I actually have at least 6 posts started but can't seem to get to finish any of them.  I tend to write in my head and then try to at least get the concepts on paper before I lose them.  There are some essential oils that are supposed to help support your memory and motivation maybe I need to try them!

So this update is actually from late during the first week of my exercise and healthy living journey.

So read on my friends - I am continuing on and will update some other posts here soon!


The first part of this week my son was home with just a little icky something for the first 3 days. I guess if there's good news about that is that I was at home. So eating well and eating small meals frequently was actually quite easy. When he went back to school on Thursday things changed a little bit for me.   This meant that I had to bring all of my food to the office with me.

I'm kind of a last minute person to be honest. So having to do a lot of planning is a bit of a challenge for me. Fitting in the classes, working out,  getting lunches ready the morning. prepping food for the day, having a dinner prepared (or at least planned) and getting the kids to school can be a real challenge.  Welcome to Motherhood!  I am envious of the families that can afford to have a stay at home parent!

It requires me to be organized. That is not exactly in my nature.  I guess that is a good thing and maybe it will become a habit. That is my hope. I have to plan for dinner the night before I have to make the lunches I have to get all of my food prepped and have everything ready to go to make my shake in the morning before I go to class.  Yikes.  This is a real challenge for me!  I see the prize down the road so I am committed to making it happen.


Friday I took my first Barre class.  I went into the first class thinking this would be a little bit of a recovery from the HIIT & Bootcamp classes.  BOY WAS I WRONG!  It was all about strength, flexibility and core.    We started with squats for a LONG PERIOD OF TIME.  It felt like forever.  My legs burned like I don't think they ever have before.

OK - I have long legs, I am not flexible. Once again I WAS PATHETIC.  We did some stretching exercises where I had a partner.  You sit with your feet together, legs straight and hold hands to pull on each other and stretch your legs.  HAH!  What a riot.  Just sitting in that position was a challenge for me.  FORGET STRETCHING.  The poor woman I was paired with had her arms stretched beyond her feet, because I couldn't even get close to my feet!

This was kind of the theory but without the bands.  We were holding hands.  All I can say to my partner is I AM SORRY.

All these people on the floor looking like dancers and gymnasts.  And then there is me!

Ok - I know how important this is and as awful as it was. I actually liked it.  How weird is that?


  1. having knowledge or perception of a situation or fact.
    "most people are aware of the dangers of sunbathing"
    synonyms:conscious of, mindful of, informed about, acquainted with, familiar with,alive to, alert to;
    informalclued in to, wise to, in the know about, hip to; 
    formalcognizant of; 
    archaicware of

    • concerned and well-informed about a particular situation or development.
      "unless everyone becomes more environmentally aware, catastrophe is inevitable"

Part of this journey is to become aware of my body, of my eating habits, of my emotions and of my physical activity.  One of the things I discovered in the first week is that I absolutely have a "Bewitching Hour" !

After picking up the kids from school, we come home and they need a snack.  They both eat lunch fairly early.  So when they get home they are hungry.  In the past I would snack with them.  But my snacks were certainly not good for my body or my brain!  Chips were my go to.  Crunch, salty, yum!!!!  The activity of having to write down what I am going to eat made me stop, think and make a better choice.

BE AWARE.  Finding and knowing your triggers is one of the keys to your success.  Instead I grabbed some protein and some veggies.  I was satisfied very quickly and did not have that horrible - oh crap - what did I just eat feeling.

Be aware of your body, and of  your cravings.  When you find something like this you can plan for it.  Have a good healthy snack ready for you when this happens. This will help you make good choices.

Week one is done - stay tuned for a wrap up post on that.


Friday, January 16, 2015

What is your why? - A Wellness Journey - Post #5

Today, a little bit about me.  Because ultimately a wellness journey is about yourself.  What is your why?  You hear that all the time from life coaches and network marketing coaches.  I have a lot of "whys".

I have four photos I have up around the house.

The first is from my wedding day.  This photo is in our living room.  I felt amazingly beautiful, loved and amazing.  It was a perfect day.  I was starting my life with the love of my life.  I truly am not a superficial person.  I am more comfortable in  sweat pants and a sweat shirt but like to dress up and look nice.  BUT I don't like the way I feel, the way my body looks, when I am over weight and out of shape.  I don't notice other people that are overweight (unless they are morbidly obese) but I sure notice it when I am.

The second picture is from a work function that my husband and I attended.  The proverbial little black dress.  We were married in 1996 and our beautiful daughter was born in December of 1999.  I gained a TON of weight during my pregnancy.  Apparently, subconsciously, I decided I could eat anything while I was pregnant.  My OB-GYN actually reprimanded me for gaining so much weight.   My food of choice was pepperoni, green olive pizza.  We have all heard the saying, "you should eat more, you are eating for two".  I took that literally.   After Elsie was born I started working out in a gym with a personal trainer.  I had never been in a gym before let alone really exercise!  After a period of time I was in the best shape I had ever been.  I did cardio, I ate right and I lifted weights.  The fat melted off me!  I felt great.

The third picture is when Elsie was about 1.  We were at a Hanken family reunion in Omaha.  We recently discovered this picture.  I don't think I had ever seen it.  My husband, David's Father passed away just before Thanksgiving.  Between 2000 and 2014 we lost all 4 of our parents and a Grandma.  We were down in Iowa cleaning out the house and going though over 60 years of memories.  I will write more about that later.  We discovered this picture.  I picked it up and all I could say was, "Whoa who is that woman"?  (Spoiler alert - this was a bit of a turning point for me).  This one hangs on our bathroom wall.

The fourth picture is from my nieces wedding.  We had our amazing son Porter in 2002.  I worked out as long as I could while pregnant with Porter.  I carried him so low that it was actually painful to walk.  I remember going to the gym and talking to my trainer in tears.  I had to tell him, I just couldn't keep going, it hurt too much.  Luckily I did not backslide much and was able to get back at it for awhile after Porter was born.  This was probably the longest that I kept at it.  This picture is in my office at work.

So you ask, what happened between 2002 and 2014?  A LOT.  Life happened, Motherhood happened, business ownership happened, financial stress happened, we lost the last 3 of our parents during that time, the kids schedules got busy, the kids activities got more expensive and busier, my husband bought a business, he was not paying himself (all the money went back into the business) he moved the business into a larger space with higher rent, there was a small financial system collapse (disastrous for small business owners - he was still not paying himself), I quit my job where I was part owner of a successful company, I traveled a lot for my new job, I quit tha!t job and took another job that was absolutely horrible - I was never home, I quit that job and went to work in David's business.   People say the most stressful things a person can go through are death of a family member, changing jobs and/or moving.  Let's just add financial stress to that issue.

These are not excuses they are reality.  They are reality for many people.  What have I learned?  You have to take care of yourself.  You can't care for others if you don't take care of yourself.

What happened?   I quit taking care of myself.  What do a lot of parents and business owners do?  They sacrifice themselves for their families and for their work.  I forgot what it felt like to feel great.  I forgot what it was like to look great.

Yes, this is about me.  That is my first why.  My second why is my family.  I want to be here for them for a long time.  I want to be an active Grandparent (when that time comes!).  I want to enjoy retirement someday. I don't think I have ever used as many I sentences EVER!  It is about time.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Fat and Flab Will Be Flying AKA - I Want To Cry - A Wellness Journey Post #4

Oh man, oh man, oh man.  Yesterday was brutal.  I went to class at 6:30.  This is the High Intensity class I am doing.  I think Oz must have had some extra caffeine.  The first class he gave us at least one small break for water and about 5 minutes of active stretching at the end of class.  Not yesterday!

We did not stop moving.  Again, I was in the pathetic group (that was a group of 1 mind you).  I just couldn't keep the pace with those that have been exercising more faithfully.  I know that is expected, but I am a tad bit competitive and it is so hard for me to be last...

We did a lot of upper body and core.  Core?  What core?  I have flab not core.  Seriously at one point after an ab exercise I was lying on the floor and wanted to cry.

I don't know why I thought after 3 days of working out that I would have more energy and be better prepared for class yesterday.  Boy was I mistaken.  I really struggled.

Ok, enough whining.  Sometimes crying is a good thing.  I stepped on the scale this morning and I am down 7 pounds since Sunday morning.  Ok, I know, it is all water weight.  Just don't tell me all the things to burst my bubble ok?    At this point do we care?  Just seeing the scale move makes me want to cry for joy!

 Oz must be a mind reader or he could just see my frustration and complete physical exhaustion.  He came over during one of the exercises called the matrix (I REALLY HATE THIS ONE).  He told me, "Just do as many as you can."    

After class, I asked him why I felt my performance was worse than even my first class.  He reminded me of something very important.

  1. I am very low carb right now.  I don't eat many carbs at all and they are all before noon.  My energy stores will be pretty low, but I am still burning fat and increasing my endurance.
BUT then here came the next conversation.  He is big on engaging the core and building core in everything you do.  Remember my post about all the fit people in tight spandex?  He says with my loose exercise clothing he can't see my back or abs to make sure I am engaging my core correctly.  He wants me to wear tighter clothes.

Hah - tighter clothes won't be an issue.  Seriously all my clothes are tight right now (I refuse to buy what I call fat clothes).  But let me tell you the fat and flab will be flying during class.  I really don't know if I can do this.  Seriously don't know if I can.  I don't like my body right now.  Please don't tell me I need to love my body no matter what.  Please!  I love myself.  But I don't have to love my body right now.

I want to cry!  How do you think this will look (trying to deal with this with a little humor may help?)  I think people will run screaming from the gym.  Anyone know where I can find something like this?  I think that would keep Oz from asking me to wear tighter clothes.

Here is good news - fat is flying off my body at a fast rate right now.  I know I won't continue to lose this much at this pace but I am thankful for that.  Now I guess my flab will be flying and bouncing around for the whole world to see.  I promise I will not post photos or videos!!!

Please send me positive thoughts on this one.  Who would have thought that what I wear to exercise would be the hardest part of the journey.