Family, Heath and fitness, Spirituality

Ice, Snow, Seasonal Depression

This isn’t a happy post so if you want happy and warm read my Isla blog or my blog about Cenotes in Mexico.

I wrote this three days ago but didn’t publish. Why? Because I was venting and blogs are supposed to be about helping people and my venting doesn’t help anyone. I also thought that the weather would improve, that something would remind Mother Nature that it is the end of April. That hasn’t happened. As I write this…it is snowing ice balls outside.  I would say hail, but iceballs sounds far more dramatic. I feel drama is in order. I decided to post because maybe misery can find company? So here it goes. I’m sad. Today, I’m really sad. I deal with seasonal depression and I think I’ve dealt with it quite well this year, until now.  It’s April 15th. It’s 29 degrees outside. It’s the season that seasonal depression ends as the sunshine filters back into our lives, ha! This morning… 5 minutes ago, I went out to scrape the windows of my car and I couldn’t find the scrapper so I’m just patiently waiting for it to heat up enough to melt. Spatula isn’t working on it. The credit card scrape won’t get it this time either….it’s too thick. Like 1/2″ thick ice.

frozen Michigan, seasonal depression, sad
Frozen Michigan

I’m not a baby. I’m a tough Michigander and I know first hand about weather in Michigan in April. My birthday is April 5th. When people find out my birthday is in the spring, and I use that term lightly, their first response is “You’re a Spring Birthday, how nice!”  Because it’s spring, people forget that EVERY year it snows the first week in April. I know this for a fact because it always snows the week of my birthday. I can take it with quite a bit of humor because, one, I’m an Aries and two, it is April.  Previous years we’ve always had a few 60-70 degree days prior and those warm days will come back immediately after. Mother Nature , however reserves this first week in April for her last frozen snow hurrah ….always….every year. Except not this year. This year has been a non-stop ice/snow hurrah. There have been no 50,60 or 70 degree days (actually one 60 degree day in February ). There have been very few in the 40’s. We have been stuck in some zone where the temperature lingers between 10-30. Last night we had a winter advisory and and ice storm. I went to start my car and there is 1/2″ of ice over the whole car. I couldn’t open the doors until I pried it open with my foot. I want to stop at Tim Hortons and get a coffee but I know from past experience that my window will be froze shut. I actually had a dream last night that I was laying on lush green grass. Just laying there with my arms open. Soaking up the earth. Well, maybe tomorrow. My venting is done.  If you live in a cold climate like me know that you are not alone in your angst. If you are fortunate enough to live in a warm place, rejoice in it!

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Work Out
Beauty tips, Family, Heath and fitness

How to Stay Motivated Working Out in Your 50’s

5 Ways to Stay Motivated in Your Workout

So, maintaining motivation has got to be my biggest struggle so I’m guessing it may be yours too. Hopefully by sharing ideas we can keep each other motivated!                         First, it has helped me immensely to realize and accept that my reasons and motivation for working out could and should change. I would love to tell you that I began all of this madness for my health but that would be a lie. I just feel fortunate that my health has benefited  in spite of my vain intentions.                                                                                        Yes, vanity was my first motivational factor! A little over a year ago I began working out because of a planned three-week family vacation to Mexico. If anything motivates a 51-year-old woman ( or any woman for that matter ) to work out, it would be the thought of having to parade around in public in a bathing suit. I knew something drastic had to be done. At the time I decided an exercise routine needed to be put quickly into place…along with a new eating philosophy.   ( See this link to see my Lifestyle Eating Plan ).  These two changes in my lifestyle catapulted me into losing 20 pounds in 30 days. My husbands success was even greater. He lost 25 pounds! I knew that we would be able to keep it off while on vacation. Even though there was no gym we had outdoor activities daily.  I have to admit that I was a little worried that I would still be motivated to keep up our workout routine once we returned home. After all, the vacation was over, bathing suits need not be worn until our next adventure.                                                                                                      Upon our return, I admit I did not run right back to the gym, I do have to mention that my husband did. He has Type 2 Diabetes and for him working out was not about vanity but about longevity, seeing our children get married and have kids of their own.  Have you ever noticed that it’s often easier to do for someone else than to do for yourself? It’s almost like our subconscious tells us we don’t deserve health as a way to rationalize foregoing a behavior that you know deep inside can only be a benefit for you. My husband became my catalyst, my post vacation inspiration.  He is my hero, my mentor. If he can go to the gym 5-6 times a week,  I need to make sure that I go with him 3-4 times. It’s the least I can do because I know it keeps him encouraged, and his life depends on it.  Working out with him brings me to my third motivating factor. I really look forward to him coming home from work and us driving to the gym together. He’s my workout buddy. If you don’t have one, you should find one. Even though we work out in separate areas, the ride there and back we can actually have conversations about our workouts and we have something that we share in common. Now, our teenage girls have even joined in and go often as well. It has really allowed us to squeeze in family time at an age where parents often feel their children pulling away.                                                             Another factor was before I started working out I started noticing aches and pains. I attributed this to age. Did I mentioned I was 51 but I felt like I was 70? A woman in her fifties should not be in as much pain as I was in. About 7 every evening my knee would start to hurt, my hip would start in as well.  I hurt!  About 2 weeks into my workout routine I noticed the pain subsiding. It was a bonus that I had truly not expected.  I also add  Dr. Axe Collagen Powder  to my coffee every day. It too helps with the aches and pains of my 51 year old crickety bones.  Last, but not least, I live in Michigan. If you live in a northern climate you may understand SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder. Basically, the lack of sunshine and lack of warmth. Working out by no means supplies my soul with sunshine but it certainly helps to alleviate mild depression.                                                                                                             Does my motivation change a different times? Yes, In fact it helps me that it changes, it allows me to keep going on the days that I would rather just stay home. So, on any given day the five top reasons that keep me going are:

1.) My workout buddy    ( see his before and after )                                                                       2.) Vanity                                                                                                                                              3.) My health                                                                                                                                          4.) Relief from aches and pain                                                                                                          5.) Relieves mild seasonal depression

ADDITIONAL TIPS: I didn’t originally wear a workout belt but found that once I did, my middle section would sweat quite a bit more. I can honestly see a difference when I wear it Workout Belt .

What I love even more than my workout belt are my Zaggora Pants

“>Zaggora Pants

The belt and the pants produce so much sweat, and water weight loss. So it’s especially important to keep hydrated while you work out. I find that when I wear the pants I will burn about 10% more calories. I do the elliptical for 45 minutes and with regular leggings I burn 440-460 calories. When I wear the pants I burn 480-515 calories.

My husbands before and after pictures, he’s cute, right? If WE can do it, YOU can too!  If you have advice on tips that keep you motivated please leave comments below.

Weight Loss Before Picture, Weight Loss, Bahamas, Freeport
Before Weight Loss
Weight Loss, Healthy Lifestyle
After Weight Loss

DISCLAIMER: My content may or may not contain affiliate links for products I use and love. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I may earn money which  enables me to make more creative content such as this

Beauty tips, Heath and fitness

Seven Benefits of Coconut Oil

The world is filled with all kinds of beauty and health secrets. Many are not only expensive but they contain ingredients that are not beneficial to our bodies . For this reason I try to use as many organic, natural products as I can. One of my favorites is coconut oil. There are many benefits and uses – I am listing my favorite 7.

1.) Coconut Oil is an Antimicrobial:

This means that it increases white blood cells, strengthening your bodies immune system, perfect for flu season.                                                                                                            I can’t remember when I added it to my diet but it has been quite sometime, years ago, in fact. I try to live a healthy and life through diet and exercise but unlike some of my mentors I tend to not be as steadfast as I should be. Everything in moderation, right? Well, everything except Coconut oil. It’s simple really. I drink coffee every morning and every morning the first thing I put in my coffee cup is organic coconut oil. Since I have started this routine I have  not had the flu ( those of you that know me know that I do not ever get a flu vaccine- that’s another blog ). I have had a cold maybe once or twice in the past five years  and when I say cold…I mean the sniffles – not the kind that knocks you out and puts you in bed. What I am getting at is that I attribute my strong immune system to my morning ritual of coconut oil in my coffee. I do add some other ingredients to my morning addiction. I’ve shared my list of ingredients at the bottom, I hope you love my recipe as much as I do.

2.) Coconut Oil has Antifungal Properties: 

What does that mean? Well, it helps with digestion, prevents constipation and prevents parasites. Something most people don’t want to talk about but it is definitely a plus!

3.) Coconut Oil Contains Vitamin E, Iron and Essential Lauric Acid:

Vitamin E and Iron speak for themselves but Lauric acid becomes more important as we age.  Lauric acid also helps with the minor aches and pains we experience as we get older. The more you work out, the more you need. Lauric acid also helps balance hormones.

4.) Coconut Oil Helps Increase HDL and Lower LDL:

We all know this means a healthier heart.

5.) Coconut Oil Helps Stabilize Blood Sugar in Diabetics:

My husband has Diabetes Type ll and I am always looking for natural ways to help him stabilize his blood sugar through diet.

6.) Coconut Oil for Dental Health, Oil Pulling:

It’s called swishing or oil pulling. If you haven’t heard of this process its actually an easy way to promote oral health. It can pull out bacteria and prevent cavities as well as other health ailments.                                                                                                                                 The swishing process is quite simple. First thing in the morning, you take a teaspoon of coconut oil and put it in your mouth. If it’s in its’ solid form you will need to hold it there briefly until it melts. Once melted simply swish back and forth in your mouth. I started with five minutes and worked up to twenty minutes three times a week. When you are done, you’ll want to spit it in the garbage. Do not swallow the oil as you will be swallowing all the bacteria that the oil just pulled. It is also used as a teeth whitener although I haven’t seen much benefit this way.

Oral Health

7.) Coconut Oil as a Scalp/Hair/Skin Conditioner:

Despite the vacation photo, My family and I live in Michigan. Our winters can be harsh and cold, wreaking havoc on our scalps and skin. My daughters and I use it as a moisturizer after bathing or showering. We also use it to massage into our scalp and hair. We wrap a towel around our hair and wait for at least an hour ( I’ve been known to leave it over night  ) before washing the oil out. I can’t tell you the relief it brings to an itchy dry scalp and what a luxurious moisturizer it is for our hair.

Coconut Oil, Benefits of Coconut oil, health hair, healthy skin
Healthy hair and skin

There are so many more ways that we use coconut oil but these are a few to get you started. If you have some unique ways that you use coconut oil, please let us know in the comments below.

COCONUT COFFEE RECIPE:                                                                                                               Make coffee as usual,  Add 1-2 teaspoons of  Organic Coconut Oil in coffee cup. Add 1 teaspoon of  Dr. Axe Collagen Powder .  Add 1 teaspoon of local honey ( local honey is good for preventing allergies ). Add 1-2 teaspoons of organic milk. 


DISCLAIMER: My content may or may not contain affiliate links for products I use and love. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I may earn money which  enables me to make more creative content such as this.


weight loss, healthy living
Beauty tips, Heath and fitness

Three Easy Changes to Lose 15-20 Pounds in 30 Days

Okay, you are skeptical, I get it. Maybe you’ve tried every fad diet out there and it hasn’t worked. I guarantee that this approach will work. Not only will you lose weight but you will find yourself full of a new energy and zest for life.

I had been carrying around a few extra pounds and though I am generally a healthy person I found that the older I got, the more weight just seemed to stick around. I blamed it on hormones. It made sense…everyone at my age complains of hormones as the cause for weight gain. But then one night, I had an actual epiphany. The voice of common sense, whom I call God, led me to a very simple conclusion. I needed to start eating food and I needed to start eating MORE of it. It’s simple, really. So simple in fact that I decided to give it a try. We had an upcoming trip and I did not want to carry around this extra weight. I wanted to feel comfortable and confident at the beach. If I can do this, trust me, you can  too!



Drink at least 64 ounces of water a day. It’s better if you add lemon, lemon zest or infuse it with your fruit or herb ( mint is nice ) of choice. It is not necessary to infuse your water but it will be more refreshing. I like lemon zest as it is a huge immune system booster. Does this mean I gave up coffee? Oh, heck no- never! What I do drink as soon as I get up is my first 16 ounces of filtered water.

Lemon and Mint Infused Water


Get your self yourself moving. Yup, get off of the couch, out of your chair, and walk. Walk or engage in movement for at least 30 minutes four times a week. Preferably more but 30 minutes is a start. When I started on the elliptical I could only manage 8 minutes. Now, I have increased my time to 45 minutes. An elliptical machine is not necessary. The movement you choose should be something you enjoy. The fact is, you may not enjoy it at first but after a couple of weeks you will find that you crave this time. The key is making it a habit.

Walking -149915-unsplash.jpg


This is the most difficult yet most important step for me. THIS step IS the epiphany, the common sense step. NO, and  I mean no processed food. If we are being honest, processed “food” is not food as far as your body is concerned and your body does not recognize it as such. When humans ingest Oreos, Cheetos, or fast “food” for example, our body says “hmm, not sure what this is and I can’t really use this for fuel efficiently so I’ll just store it over here until I figure it out.” Your body then stores it in fat cells and or cellulite.  I guarentee we could eliminate most of the obesity in this country if we just started eating food.  So now your asking- How do I know for sure if it’s processed?  The best rule of thumb that I use is, if God didn’t make it- do not ingest it. Did He make pop? (Sorry, I’m from Michigan ) Did God make cookies? God did not make white refined sugar or flour either. Cut out all processed cereals and breads. Trust me, you will get enough fiber from real food. It does get a little grey when we talk about dairy. I would cut out as much as you can and if you don’t see the scale move then cut it out entirely. If you do these three things you will not even have to count calories. 100 calories from an avacado vs. 100 calories from a brownie are not the same. They are stored and burned for energy in a very different manner. It is much harder ( requires much more physical effort ) to burn brownie calories as they are stored deep in your fat cells.



Give your body the chance that YOU deserve! On about day three your  cravings  for non foods will all but vanish, in fact the thought of it will start to disgust you.

So you see, when you break it down to only three steps, it really seems do-able. This past June-July, I went from 167 to 148 ppounds. Not only did I not feel weak but I have never felt better. The best part is that there are no special foods to buy….in fact, it is what you don’t buy. When buying fruits, veggies and even meat I do recommend buying organic as much as possible. Certain foods don’t really matter as much. I have included a list of the Dirty Dozen.  These are foods that you should not consume if they are not organic as they absorb pesticides that are passed on to you. I have also listed a list of the Clean Fifteen. These are foods that do not absorb pesticides as much so it does not make sense to spend more on organic.


Strawberries, Spinach, Nectarines, Apples, Peaches, Pears, Cherries, Grapes, Celery, Tomatoes, Sweet bell peppers, Potatoes


Sweet corn, Avacados, Pineapples, Cabbage, Onions, Sweet peas, Papayas, Asparagus, Mangos, Eggplant, Honeydew melon, Kiwi

Happy Losing! If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below!

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“>DISCLAIMER: My content may or may not contain affiliate links for products I use and love. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I may earn money which  enables me to make more creative content such as this.


Heath and fitness

35 Ways To Raise Your Vibration

So, this isn’t a typical health and fitness post but I think we can all agree that happiness has a direct link to our overall health. In today’s hectic society, depression is all too frequently a battle. I have found that if I start every day with meditation ( for me that is prayer ) it gets my day started on the right track. On days that I struggle I have found these 35 practices to help immensely. Some suggestions are not always feasible or simply may not work for you. Please feel free to add to this and or make your own list of what works for you!

Enjoy and may your day be blessed!

  1.   State out loud ten things that you are grateful for
  2.   Dance
  3.   Eat raw veggies
  4.   Take an epsom salt bath ( add a little lavender known to elevate mood )
  5.   Meditate
  6.   Find some grass, walk through it barefoot ( grounding )
  7.   Say NO to something or someone who drains you
  8.   Technology detox
  9.   Breath deeply for 5 minutes
  10.   Create, use the right side of your brain ( this can be a meal, craft, art, writing )
  11.   Read a high vibration book ( Bible, The Secret etc. )
  12.   Say something nice to a stranger *** warning this can become addictive
  13.   Go to the ocean or a body of water
  14.   Hug and get hugged *** warning I don’t suggest this with a stranger 
  15.   Look outside for something beautiful
  16.   De-clutter your space
  17.   Spend time with a high vibe person
  18.   Get your blood pumping ( even if its running in place )
  19.   Drink oxygenated water ( I have a recipe below )
  20.   Find the sun
  21.   Become conscious of your thoughts
  22.   Visualize something or someone who brings you happiness
  23.   Laugh / Smile ( Fake it till you make it! )
  24.   Take a shower cleanse
  25.   Tell yourself something positive while looking in the mirror ( 100 x’s )
  26.   Send loving thoughts to 3 people who annoy you
  27.   Play with a child or pet
  28.   Listen to music you love, sing along really loud
  29.   Stretch
  30.   Diffuse some essential oils
  31.   Take a sauna
  32.   Get a massage
  33.   Take a hike and get some fresh air.
  34.   Write on paper 25 things you are thankful for
  35.   Buy yourself ( or pick ) some flowers for yourself

10 Ways To Lower Your Vibration

1.)    Use of technology

2.)    Negative people

3.)   Watching violence

4.)   Processed foods

5.)   Alcohol

6.)   Smoking

7.)   Chemicals / Pesticides

8.)   Microwave radiation

9.)   Worry

10.)  Lack of oxygen

Recipe for oxygenated water:  On an empty stomach add 4 drops of 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide to 8 ounces of water. 35% Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide  ( Diluted from 35% ) See Disclaimer.

DISCLAIMER: My content may or may not contain affiliate links for products I use and love. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I may earn money which  enables me to make more creative content such as this.