Who am I?
I believe in quantum leaps, outrageous thinking, bold action, extraordinary decisions, and elegant solutions.
I believe in living a life you love, going for your dreams, and doubting your limits.
I believe food changes our performance, I believe fitness changes our perspective, I believe fun nourishes our souls… and I believe living a life of deep, satisfying, and profound fulfillment, is the way we are meant to live.
I believe in Life. Well. Lived.
Check Out Some of My Latest Quotes
More you might like to know.
Here’s a bit of my food journey…
I stopped eating red meat in 1976. After that time, I went in and out of being a complete vegetarian or incorporating poultry and fish. Then, in 2007, I decided to stop eating all flesh foods. At the end of that year, I was heavier and sicker than I had ever been – the truth is, I was a vegetarian who didn’t eat many fruits and vegetables. Scared by the lab results from my physical exam, I was willing to do whatever it took to turn my health around. That’s when I was introduced to a Raw Vegan Diet – i.e. a diet consisting of fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts not heated above 118 degrees. I jumped in with both feet and had remarkable results – I lost 10 pounds in a month, 20 pounds over 6 months, I LOVED the food, and most importantly, I felt amazing. Oh, and the abnormal cells that showed up in my lab tests? Vanished. I was a believer. I ate primarily Raw for about 3 years, taught Raw Food Classes, guided people through a 30-day Raw Food Adventure, wrote a couple Raw Food Cookbooks, and filmed a bunch of raw food ‘How To’ videos.
Then I hit menopause.
My body started responding differently to the food. I was holding onto weight. I didn’t feel good. The enormous energy I had experienced before with raw food, was not there, even when I ate 100% raw. I worked with my doctor to adjust my hormones – still no difference. I started to crave sugar, and carbs, and down the slippery slope I went until I found myself not able to get through a morning if I didn’t have my Starbucks Morning Bun and a cup of Joy tea. I regained all the weight I had lost. Although I was struggling with my health and fitness, the rest of my life was firing on all cylinders – I was living my dream job, I had amazing relationships and colleagues, and I enjoyed a greater level of time and money freedom than I had ever known. And, although I couldn’t exactly connect the dots back then, I knew intuitively that if I improved my fitness, all the other areas of my life would improve as well.
Once again, I was willing to do whatever it took to turn this around, so I sought out the help of the best health and fitness coach I could find. I wish I could say I had this incredible transformation in 90 days, but it didn’t work that way for me. Although getting back in the gym was like putting a fish back in water, it took a while to figure out the right nutrition plan. I wanted to do this transformation as a raw vegan, or at least as a vegetarian, but my body and my metabolic testing were telling me something different. It was time to consider reintroducing animal protein. Reminding myself that I was willing to do whatever it took to turn this around, I took the first few baby steps at first, incorporating some wild caught fish. I survived, then some free range chicken, and eventually, after more than 35 years of not eating red meat, I tried grass fed beef. I have to admit, the first time I ate beef I thought – “I have to learn to like Salmon more.” It wasn’t my favorite, and still is not at the center of most meals, but I’ll continue to experiment to find what works best for me.
Here’s the bottom line – I turned my health around. I lost 20 pounds, reduced by body fat by 15% and gained 10 pounds of lean muscle. Most importantly my cravings are gone and my performance has improved as my mind is clear and focused and my energy is steady and high. I have adopted a Paleo style of eating – specifically I eat a Ketogenic diet of high fat, low carb, and moderate protein. All organic vegetables. No dairy, grains or soy. It’s what works for me and enables me to perform optimally. I look forward to sharing more of my journey with you and what I am learning along the way.
Today, it continues to be the simple things in which I find the most fun. I love playing with my boy Brady (my Jack Russell rescue), hiking with my people puppy pack on Sunday mornings, losing myself in a home re-design project, taking the convertible on back roads to a place I’ve never been, throwing a dinner party for friends and engaging in really interesting conversation… and of course, a few well-told stories and lots of really good belly laughs.
Volleyball became my sport. I played in high school, college and club USVBA volleyball until I was 40 and then realized that most the girls on the court were half my age and twice as fit. That’s when I turned to more individual sports like mountain biking, swimming, surfing, hiking, and yoga. I loved the movement, the play, the challenge, the invigoration and the sense of accomplishment.
But I gradually got away from all of it. It didn’t happen over night, I moved away from my gym, they closed the mountain biking trails, I broke my foot which kept me out of surfing for a season, I got lost in my work (which I love) and I gradually got out of the habit of moving and challenging my body in the ways I used to.
In Sept 2012 I recognized the toll the lack of movement and poor nutrition had taken on my body, so I sought out a health and fitness coach to help me with my nutrition, workout plans, and motivation and a personal trainer to help push me and perfect my form in the gym. Getting back in the gym was like putting a fish back in water – I LOVED it. I loved challenging my body again, I loved the feel of the weights in my hands, I loved sweating, I loved the music… and I loved the results.
Over the course of a year, I lost 20 pounds, but more importantly, I lost 15% body fat, gained 10 pounds of lean muscle, completely changed my body composition and did my first fitness photo shoot at the age of 57. WhoooHooo!
It’s been a fun journey and fitness and movement are now squarely back as a regular and valued part of my day. I continue to challenge myself with new fitness goals and routines – including more cross fit style training and powerlifting. And I embrace wholeheartedly the phrases the cross fit women have made famous – that muscles are sexy and that strong is definitely the new skinny :)
My journey along the path of fulfillment has been a fun and ever-evolving one. One thing I’ve always known about myself is that I love to teach. It was when I was a teenager that I first connected to my passion for teaching transformational principles. The first iteration of that was in Evangelical Christianity, which led me to six years of seminary and a Masters of Divinity, followed by three years in the ministry. After I left the ministry, I spent another 10 years in the non-profit world teaching parents, teachers and children child abuse prevention strategies and doing cutting edge training for health and human service providers around making their organizations welcoming to gay and lesbian youth. It was really fun work. We were making a difference.
But I hit the non-profit ceiling and knew I wanted to buy a house someday :), so I left and ventured into the for-profit world of software where I spent the next 10 years as a business analyst supporting the 500 largest non-profits in the world. Again, it was really fun work, supporting really great organizations in making their difference in the world.
But along the way, I caught sight of a dream – the dream of making a living doing my what I felt most passionately about. I thought that passion was interior design (I know it may sound like a bit of a detour, but I’ve always loved all things “house”), so I left the software world, and opened an eco-friendly kitchen and bath showroom in Laguna Beach, California. But it didn’t take long to figure out that was not quite the right fit for me. As much as I loved transforming spaces, my heart was once again calling me to be involved in the transformation of people’s lives. It was that reconnection with my calling that led me to the work I get to do today – helping people create lives well lived. There is nothing more fulfilling than this.