10 Days of Self Care For Christmas

The countdown is on to Christmas!

If you celebrate this holiday, it’s basically GO TIME! The malls are packed, gifts need to be wrapped and food needs to be planned. While time for yourself seems impossible in these days leading up to the holiday, I’m going to give you 10 ways to practice a little self-care to prepare you for the holiday (I’m writing this blog from a pedicure chair which is my way of practicing a little self-care during this busy season.)

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Do one each day from today until December 25. They take less than 30 minutes and cost little to nothing to do.

  1. Listen to an uplifting podcast or audiobook while wrapping gifts or as you run errands. Positivity is contagious and will leave you feeling happier. Check out some positive podcasts here.
  2. Soak your feet with Epsom salts and a few drops of essential oils. Learn more about the right oil blend for whatever ails you.
  3. Take your holiday cards to a quiet place to address and send (library, coffee shop, café). Write something personal in them if possible.
  4. Give yourself a mini-facial with a soothing/calming mask like these.
  5. Call (not text) a friend you miss and catch up for a half hour or talk to a stranger in line at the store. People crave personal connection these days. You may learn something interesting.
  6. Send letters of gratitude to troops or drop off extra holiday cards to a local nursing home for seniors who are spending the holidays alone.
  7. Stretch for 15 minutes. Here’s a good stretching workout.
  8. Watch a comedy special on Netflix, Hulu, etc. Laughing reduces stress.
  9. Buy $5 gift cards from your favorite coffee shop and give them to people who could use a break (nurses, first responders, a server at your favorite restaurant)
  10. Meditate for 20 minutes before the festivities of the day. Learn more about how to meditate if you’ve never done it.

Bonus tip: write down something you are grateful for each morning. As soon as you wake or while you drink your coffee – but don’t let the day get away from you without taking a moment to recognize your good fortune in this life.

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It’s All About Finding Joy in Simplicity

The holidays don’t have to be stressful if you take a few minutes every day to center yourself and do something that refills your spirit. Try one thing from the list each day or more than one if you have the time. You shouldn’t be the last thing on your list of priorities.

Keep it simple and focus on what brings you a little bit of joy. The less complicated the better. Do these things on your own or invite a friend along to spread the holiday happiness.

And, if you are finding you are ready to focus fully on your wellness after the craziness of the holidays settles down, join other like-minded women in the Little Black Dress project that kicks off January 7 for 6-weeks. This whole-person wellness program is focused on nutrition, fitness, inner and outer confidence, empowerment and much more. It’s more than losing weight. It’s about feeling stronger and more confident. Learn more here: Take $100 off until December 24 with coupon code LBD100.


Healthy and Happy Employees This Holiday Season

holiday office stressThe end of the year push is on. You’re wrapping up 2018 and getting ready to hit the ground running in 2019.

It’s just as stressful for your employees as it is for you. They are trying to deliver on work responsibilities and meet their goals while managing a personal life filled with school holiday shows, shopping, client get-togethers, and entertaining relatives and friends. Add in financial stress, marital problems or health concerns that are often magnified during the holidays, and your employees’ well-being could be at risk.

And, to top it off, it’s costing you money. Stress-related absenteeism and presenteeism, increased health care spending, and reduced productivity cost American companies approximately 300 billion annually.

Work doesn’t have to add to the stress of the season. In fact, there are many things you can do to help employees cope and your bottom line thrive during these stressful times that won’t break your budget or require a huge investment of time. It’s wellness, and it works.

Whether you offer wellness as part of your employee benefits package or not, bringing well-being programs and services into the workplace in the next few weeks can be a big win for your business.


Check out my Six Strategies for Creating a Happy, Healthy and Productive Workplace this holiday season.

  1. Offer Flexible Work Arrangements. If your operation allows for it, give your employees the option to work from home one day per week in December. This gives them one day a week to not worry about dressing up, fighting morning traffic or rushing home to make the Christmas show at their child’s school. If you can’t give everyone a day at home each week, offer flexible hours that allow them to work around holiday obligations and celebrations.
  2. Bring Wellness to the Office. Your employees are time-strapped this holiday season and likely don’t have the time to visit a spa or local yoga studio. So bring the relaxation to them. Hire a local massage business to come in and do free chair massages or sponsor a lunchtime yoga or meditation class.
  3. Socialize Your Support Services. If you have an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) or other available health or wellness services, make sure your employees know about them, and that services are easily accessible. You’ve paid to provide an EAP…so communicate this valuable resource! EAPs can help point employees in the right direction for a myriad of challenges. From financial planning to finding babysitters to helping a relative who is struggling with illness or addiction. It’s a confidential resource that can alleviate some of their stress during a hectic time.
  4. Survey before Celebrating. Not everyone loves a fancy dinner or banquet for the office holiday gathering because it may require spending money on a new outfit and babysitter. And, some may hate the idea of an office potluck when they are already cooking for holidays. Find out how your employees would like to celebrate before planning an event. While you can’t please everyone, a quick survey will give you the insight to plan a celebration that makes your employees feel appreciated in a meaningful way.
  5. Encourage Fitness. Exercise is proven to reduce stress while boosting creativity, productivity and energy. Make fitness part of your anti-stressed workplace in December. Bring in a health coach or personal trainer to do a workshop on 30-minute workouts. Run a step challenge for prizes or partner with a local gym to offer employees a free one-week membership during the holiday season.
  6. Stock up on Healthy Snacks. When people are stressed, they often turn to food for comfort. Be prepared with a breakroom or kitchen stocked with snacks that will fuel them in a healthy way. Fresh fruit, trail mix, dark chocolate, protein bars and an always-full water cooler will ensure they are eating food that nourishes them without a sugar crash or excessive calories.

Reducing stress in the workplace during the holidays doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. It’s about knowing your employees and what will resonate with them, and then offering small gestures of kindness during a stressful time of year. In the end, you will not only have happier, less-stressed employees but they will be more loyal and productive, making it a win for everyone!

For more ideas on how to create a well workplace, reach out to me for a free workplace wellness assessment and consultation. I’d love to show you how small efforts add up to big ROI this holiday season.




Give the Gift of a Dream

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Tis the season to dream

Indulge me in a off-topic blog post this week…

I’m not dreaming of a white Christmas just yet – especially after a surprise winter ice storm that hit us last week and left us without power for 30 hours.

No, I’m talking about the kind of dreaming we all do. Dreaming about goals we want to achieve, things we’d like to own or experiences we’d like to have. It’s healthy to dream and have aspirations.

Some of us weirdos dream about working. Working for ourselves, that is. To have a successful small business.

I guess we are gluttons for punishment? Seriously, we dream of all those other things but our means to getting the dream trip to Italy in 2020 (on my list) is fueled by having a business that gives me unlimited potential to make that happen.

I’m not alone. The dream of small business ownership is a popular one. There are more

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than 30 million small businesses in the U.S. today which is 99% of ALL businesses. They employ 59 million people – approximately half of the total workforce in this country. In short, small businesses are no joke. They are a major economic engine and vital to the health of our country.

As one of the 30 million I pride myself on supporting other small businesses whenever possible. In my work life I have a part time virtual assistant, a business coach and an accountant (all small business owners). In my personal life, I shop at a local farm market when possible and frequent our city’s market district where I can purchase from small grocers and retailers. I buy handmade gifts from people with incredible talents; I get my car serviced at a local shop; and I have a “cake lady” who has made every special occasion cake for us for the past 3 years and created a magical display of cookies for our daughter’s wedding. These are just a few examples.

Would a cake from the grocery store chain have been cheaper? Maybe. Would a baby hat and sweater have been easier to order online from a kid’s clothing chain and have shipped directly to the new parents? Yep. But by buying that cake and having my friend knit a one-of-a-kind sweater for a precious little girl, I’m fueling that economic engine. I’m making families stronger and more stable. I’m stoking the fire of creativity and passion in people who have gifts to share and deserve to be paid for them.

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So many of my friends and former colleagues have made the leap like me. Scrolling Facebook, I see former coworkers who were in the field of communications now doing some pretty cool things. They include a realtor, an interior designer, a landscape designer, and a printshop owner. And others have taken on side hustles selling everything from essential oils to skincare to children’s books to fitness wear just to make extra money for the things they need or that make them happy.

And while it brings me joy to see people that I call friends going after a dream and making it happen, I know it’s not easy. It’s downright scary to start a new business. There are worries that keep you awake at night, make you question every decision you’ve ever made and can allow the debilitating thought of… “what if I am a complete failure?” to creep in and paralyze you. I’ve been there – a few times.

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So my wish this holiday season is that you might consider “shopping local” with a friend or relative. I’m not suggesting you give up Prime because, um, procrastination. However, as we head into the start of the Holiday Shopping season, I encourage you to look through your friends list on Facebook or Instagram and see who you can support. It doesn’t have to be a big purchase. Even an encouraging message or sharing their business with your friends and followers can be a boost to their bottom line and their confidence.

Sometimes they are a little more expensive. And, they may have to charge you shipping but you know that the extra couple of dollars or the shipping fee is helping them sustain and grow a business. They can’t compete with Amazon or Wal-Mart and they likely aren’t trying to. They are simply chasing that dream and trying to make a better life for themselves and their families.

In the season of giving, I hope you’ll support local businesses like mine and help bring them a little closer to achieving that dream.




5 Tips for Healthy Holidays

The holiday season is here!

And with it comes an abundance of food, family and fun that leaves little time for good nutrition, fitness and self-care. Add in the demands of school, work, kids’ activities and other commitments and today’s professional woman may forget to take care of herself.

Women tend to take on most of the planning and preparation duties around the holidays. Add in a demanding career and that leaves little time for taking care of their own health and wellness. Getting ahead of the holidays with wellness strategies that protect your time, help you prioritize, and set you up for success will help women manage through, and even thrive, this holiday season.”

When the calendar starts to fill with parties, work deadlines and school functions, try these tips for staying healthy and reducing stress during the 2018 holiday season:

  1. EAT. Food is fuel so eat to power yourself through these busy days. You may be busy but don’t go all day without eating. Listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry and choose clean foods like whole grains, fresh fruit and veggies and high-quality protein. Don’t eat less than 1200 calories each day and aim for at least 25 grams of fiber and less than 2300 mg of sodium. Avoid processed or pre-packaged foods and take out.
  2. DRINK. Water, that is! Ditch the soda and other sweetened drinks (even the diet ones) for good old-fashioned water. Infuse with citrus and mint for flavor but try to drink half your body weight in ounces. Avoid the holiday drinks at your favorite coffee shop. They pack a calorie and sugar punch, and moderate how much alcohol you consume – it’s empty calories.
  3. MOVE. Make time for movement. 30 minutes is all you need. Shoot for 5 days a week but know that even 3 or 4 days is beneficial. When possible incorporate both cardio and strength and make time for stretching. Try workouts like bootcamps, kickboxing and hot yoga that will get your heart rate up but also strengthen your muscles.
  4. REST/RECOVER. No one is their best self when they are exhausted. To get through the busy holiday season, you need to slow down to speed up. If you burn the candle at both ends, every day, your body will fight back by slowing metabolism, making you irritable and interfering with your ability to think and cope. Rest and recovery is critical. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep every night and try to find time to quiet your mind in your waking hours. Meditate for 15 minutes a day with no distractions to ease a stressful mind and calm your body.
  5. SET BOUNDARIES. The amount of holiday activities scheduled from Halloween to New Year’s can be overwhelming if you let them take over your schedule and life. Choose what you say yes to, carefully. Create “filters” for responding to requests and invitation. For example, “does this event allow me to spend time with my family?” or “is this a cause that is important to me?” If it doesn’t pass your filter test, politely decline to protect your time for what really matters.

Maintaining healthy habits through the holidays doesn’t just happen.

You must put thoughtful effort into it and be steadfast in your boundaries.  While these tips may seem obvious or simple, they are rarely easy to do. The key is to make a plan and start early so you’ll be prepared when the holiday season is in full swing.

Looking for a way to start those healthy habits and continue on into the new year? Check out my wellness coaching packages and let’s chat.

Personal wellness, Uncategorized

What is a Health Coach? And Do You Need One?


Great questions! Glad you asked.

A lot of people ask me what a Health Coach is because it’s kind of ambiguous. It almost sounds made up.

And, lately, a lot of wellness companies are calling their salespeople “health coaches” which dilutes the title a bit, so I thought I’d do a little education in the spirit of the Back to School season!

The short explanation — I am…a certified health and nutrition professional and personal trainer.

The longer explanation — Certified means I had to sit for two exams by the American Council on Exercise that gave me the credentials to create workouts, develop health and wellness goals and plans, educate and guide you on nutrition strategies, and help you modify your behaviors and habits to live your healthiest life. Like other healthcare professionals, I have to maintain my certifications with continuing education and have to re-certify every two years.

Certifications…continuing education…yeah, I get it, Niki. But what does that REALLY mean? What do you do everyday? Most days I am a:

  • Planner
  • Motivator
  • Encourager
  • Accountability partner
  • Sounding board
  • Problem solver, and
  • Cheerleader

Putting fitness and nutrition plans into place is just the beginning of what I do for my clients. Most days, I’m also helping them navigate through the reality of daily life and the challenges of living healthy. A workout regimen and meal plan are only useful when they are put to use! I help my clients figure out what to eat at a fancy restaurant or at the local pizza joint. I help them find a way to workout when they spend 5 days a week traveling for work. I help them stay focused when life, family and work get crazy. All with the knowledge and expertise to provide the right advice and course of action. I don’t sell any products and my singular goal is to find the right solution for my individual clients.

So, now that you know what a real health coach is, why do you need one and how do you find the right one for your goals?

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Why Hire A Health Coach?

You may be a good candidate for a health coach if you can relate to these descriptions…

  • You’ve tried every diet and continue to lose and gain the same weight over and over again.
  • You’re constantly tired and have little energy for getting through the day.
  • You have been recently diagnosed with a chronic condition/disease or have had an injury and your doc has said you need to eat better and exercise more.
  • You have reached a weight-loss or other health goal and you need to maintain it.
  • You feel fit overall but have reached a plateau and want to figure out how to bust through it.

How to Hire the Right Health Coach

I’d love to just say, HIRE ME! Choosing the right health coach should be a process because it is an incredibly personal relationship and you need to find a coach you trust and that you can open up to, and one that has YOUR best interests in mind. Here are my tips for finding the perfect coach to get you on track and living your healthiest life!

  1. Determine what you want to accomplish. Are you looking to just lose weight? Do you need a complete overhaul with both fitness and nutrition? Do you have medical conditions or chronic injuries? All of these matter when it comes to choosing a coach. Some coaches and personal trainers specialize in certain populations and conditions (i.e. spinal injuries, diabetes, senior fitness, eating disorders). Finding a coach or trainer who understands your unique circumstances will increase your chances of sticking to a program and ultimately, your success.
  2. Look for compatibility. Are you motivated by someone who gives a lot of tough love? Someone who calls you out (in an appropriate way) when you make excuses? Or, do you prefer someone with a softer approach who gently pushes you when you are stuck? Interview several coaches before choosing – you’ll know who is the right fit when you speak with them.
  3. Ask about education. Would you let your hair stylist give you a flu shot? Or, alternatively, would you want your doctor cutting your hair? NO! Education and experience matters. Just because someone is passionate about health and wellness or sells a related product doesn’t mean they are qualified to give you fitness or nutrition advice. Find out what organization your coach is certified through and make sure it is accredited. This is for your own safety and not something you should take lightly.
  4. Insist on references. And, more importantly ask the right questions. In addition to asking a reference about a coach’s demeanor, punctuality, follow through, etc., dig a little deeper on what matters most to you. If fitness is what you want to focus on, ask about their exercise programming. If you are in need of better nutrition support, ask about what tools they use to track food and provide meal ideas. Get to the heart of what’s important to you.
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A health coach is more than just someone who tells you to eat your veggies and get more exercise. They can be a trusted partner who provides the support and accountability you’ve been missing. They can be the weight loss expert who helps you break through a plateau. The can be the missing piece to the health and wellness puzzle you’ve been struggling to piece together for years.

If you think having a health coach might be what you need to finally achieve those health, weight loss or fitness goals, I’d love to chat with you. Set up a free consultation call here.




September Reset and Prioritizing what Matters – YOU

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Labor Day – A Time to Reflect

Labor Day is a time to reflect on the state of the American worker and the picture is pretty dismal. Most Americans are overworked, stressed out and don’t take any time off to recharge.

For me, this Labor Day is a different experience as I am now among the millions of self-employed and entrepreneurs in the U.S. And while being your own boss provides some freedoms and better control of your schedule, it also brings new stresses and worries which makes self-care and wellness even more important.   I get it…easier said than done, Niki. I know that the struggle is real to find all the time needed to incorporate exercise, meal prep, meditation, relaxation, etc. in addition to work, running a household, being a parent and/or partner, finding time to volunteer or doing other things that bring you joy.

While carving out time for yourself seems selfish, and sometimes impossible, when there are so many other people and priorities in your life, it is absolutely necessary to give your full self to those other priorities.

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5 Self-Care Strategies

Not sure where to start or how to find that time in your super-hectic schedule? Read on, my over-scheduled friend.

  1. Unfriend Social Media. How many times a day do you find yourself aimlessly scrolling Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? The average person spends about 2 hours a day on popular platforms. That’s plenty of time for a workout, shower and healthy lunch. Keep your phone in another room at night and get up and get moving before you become distracted by tweets, posts and pics.
  2. Set Hours of Operation. Once you start putting the phone out of sight, send the laptop there too! Set “hours of operation” like any retail business would. Even if you bring home some work, pick a time that you will work, ex: 7-8 or 9-10 p.m. and stick to it. Otherwise, a few minutes here and a half hour there will completely take over your whole evening.
  3. Work your Mind & Body Simultaneously. You don’t have to choose between exercising your mind or body. Like to read? Want to catch up on a podcast? Do it while you’re on the treadmill, bike or elliptical. Instead of sweating to 90s Hip Hop every morning (which is awesome, BTW), pick a few workouts each week where you’ll fuel your brain and work your bod at the same time and you’ll be better for it in the long run.
  4. Get a Friend’s Status IRL. If you pause the social scroll, reach out to a friend in real life and schedule a wellness date to catch up.  Take a yoga class together and then grab coffee. Or, do meal planning/prep at one of your houses with a bottle of wine and your favorite recipes. Make double batches of your healthy dishes to share with each other.
  5. Plan with your Partner (and family). When your life is over-scheduled and non-stop, make it a point to have a planning session each week or at the start of each month to map out all the commitments. Then, find pockets for self-care and block the time for whatever recharges your battery. Be sure to post the calendar somewhere (or share online) where everyone can access it.
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New Season; Renewed Focus

There will never be time for wellness, eating healthy or exercise if you don’t make the effort to find the time. Look at this new season as a new start, like a new year and resolve to refocus, reset and re-energize your efforts.

Bottom line, you can let the season take over your life with work, sports and school or you can take control of the season to ensure you have time for the things that make you healthier, happier and more productive for all parts of your life.

Want more info on how to get back on track, set goals, and re-prioritize your health? Let’s chat! Schedule a time by sending an email to or schedule it online.


Personal wellness, Uncategorized

The Summer Shift – Falling into New Routines

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Back to school is here and that means cooler temperatures, less daylight and the routine of homework, after-school activities and sports. Even if you don’t have children, Fall signals a change in pace and focus. Work picks up again. The push to meet those year-end goals is now a high priority!

If doing the happy dance at the bus stop this morning or running to catch the train was the first exercise you’ve done all summer, and your diet has consisted of the 3 B’s: BBQ, burgers and beers…you’re not alone. Most people relax their health and fitness goals during the fun of summer.

But if too much of summer relaxing has caught up to you and those Fall jeans and sweaters are a little snug, don’t panic! Before you make a run to the local mall to size up your wardrobe or resign yourself to wearing sweats all winter – there’s plenty of time to shape up before the real craziness of the holiday season kicks in! And, it doesn’t mean you have to commit to two hours of daily sweat or surviving on a diet of celery sticks and water. In fact, you can reset habits in just a few weeks to kickstart your weight-loss and start feeling better.

Try these tips to restore some order to your health and fitness routine:

  1. Don’t look back. No regrets if you took the summer or even most of 2018 off from your health and wellness goals. You made memories and had fun. You can’t change it so don’t focus on it. Today is a perfect day to start. Onward and upward!
  2. Set a 30-day SMART goal. SMART goals are – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound. Creating a 30-day goal will give you something to work toward without it becoming overwhelming. For example, a SMART goal might be, “To lose 5 lbs. by walking 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week and keeping my calories to 1400 a day.”
  3. Put a plan in place. Nothing is truer than the quote “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” No weight-loss or health goal is attained without a plan. It’s not fun to plan. Just one hour every Sunday to set up a calendar of workouts and meals can eliminate spur of the moment decisions later in the week that lead to skipping workouts and ordering pizza.
  4. Get a support network in place. When family, friends and co-workers know what you’re trying to accomplish, they are more likely to help you stick to your plan. It’s especially important to get your immediate family on board with meal planning and protecting your time to exercise. A spouse or older kids can help with preparing meals and taking care of younger children while you work out or pair up with a neighbor to help each other stay accountable.
  5. Celebrate the little accomplishments. Don’t wait until you reach your ultimate goal to celebrate. Recognize the small wins along the way. That keeps you motivated to push forward. That might mean treating your family to healthy take out after two weeks of preparing and eating meals at home. Or, allowing yourself to have a piece of good dark chocolate after a stressful week where you avoided office donuts, happy hours and other diet disasters!
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Getting back on track and then maintaining healthy habits is a process and lifestyle.

You didn’t get off track or gain weight overnight – so changing those habits won’t be a quick fix. While Fall is the perfect time to refocus on you, be patient with yourself on this journey. There will be obstacles along the way but if you get started now, you will be healthy for the holidays and ready to take on all the stress and fun that come with them.

If the idea of having your meals planned for you and getting the daily coaching and accountability you know you need to succeed sounds awesome…join one of my Fall group programs!

KetoFast – a 28-day Keto and Intermittent Fasting Program that accelerates weight loss or Back to Basics – a 28-Day balanced, clean eating plan to reset habits and kick start weight loss.




I’m here to light a fire…

I sensed you needed a little nudge today. A little push. A little fire lit under your ass. To get moving toward making some healthy changes in your life.
While I know you want to wait until vacation is over or when the kids go back to school but there will always be something that stands in your way and makes getting healthy a giant pain in the rear end (didn’t want to use ass twice…oops did it anyway).
So I’m here to get that fire going and stoke the flames a bit to help you make the change you’ve been putting off.

Maybe you’ve tried this a hundred times and each time you’ve failed and you feel crappy and revert back to what’s comfortable and safe. Boo hoo. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and try again. That’s right. A little tough love too. I’ve failed at many things related to my health and fitness journey and I just keep getting back out there and trying.

If you are feeling completely frustrated because it seems that nothing is working or you are at a plateau, I want you to do this exercise (no sweat will be shed).
1. Take 5 minutes and write down everything you WISH you were or WISH you had as it relates to your health. There are no bad or wrong answers. And, no one has to see this list so be as ambitious as you want. Maybe you wish for a smaller butt or better abs, or maybe just for a good night’s sleep. It’s not selfish to wish for these things.

2. Then, write down what’s standing in your way. Brainstorm all the “valid” reasons/excuses you can think of that keep you from achieving these things. If you are super organized, you can create a table and for every wish you can write down a corresponding barrier across from it. Or just freestyle it.

3. Then, cross off the wishes that cannot be achieved because of something that is out of your control. You wish you could play competitive tennis but have a back injury that would prevent that – at least for right now. You wish you could attend a noon spin class but your work schedule isn’t flexible. Then, look at what is left and pick 1-3 things you can focus on – eating healthier, losing weight, reducing stress.

4. Spend an HOUR making a plan for one of them. Table the others for future goals. Let’s say you wish you could plan and prepare healthier dinners. Spend ONE HOUR researching healthy and easy dinner recipes and pick 3 to try. Don’t spend a full day on this. Limit the time, pick 3 and buy the ingredients. Done. Often, we find ourselves spending hours and hours trying to find the perfect workout, recipe, etc. and then give up because we’re frustrated. Don’t get caught in that trap. Set a timer and stick to it. Progress not perfection.

Do this once a month or once a week if you need to refocus. Need help? Ask someone you trust who has done what you are hoping to achieve. You are not required to do this alone.

And, if you need more support, join an online group that helps you get info and support. Like mine! Or, jump into one of my group coaching experiences – Back to Basics or KetoFast. Both start August 6. More info is below but you can get started by filling out my group program application here:

Whatever you decide to do, stop thinking about it and start doing it. Every day that goes by and you avoid taking care of yourself, you’re missing out on life, energy, happiness.

That’s no way to live – so let’s change it! Let’s start crossing off some of those wishes on your list!




Back to Basics

This meal plan is a balanced nutrition approach. All food groups. Real food. Whole food. Clean food. Lower in carbs but not restrictive. This is for you if you’ve not focused on your nutrition in a while and need to get back on track but you aren’t ready for a more aggressive or specialized weight loss program. You can expect to lose up to 10 lbs. in a month with this program, if done right with the right coaching! It includes a 28-Day complete meal plan developed and approved by a registered dietitian. It comes with all the recipes, grocery lists, food swaps, etc. you need to implement the program. Plus…a success guide to ensure your success, a private Facebook group with other like-minded women who have similar goals. AND – most importantly – it comes with me! A certified health coach and personal trainer who will guide you day by day, week by week through this program and provide specific coaching and support.

Reserve your spot here: Back to Basics

KetoFast Round #4!

This is my most popular program because the results can be incredible. KetoFast combines clean Keto nutrition (low carb, high fat and moderate protein) and Intermittent Fasting (eating within a restricted window of time – typically 8 hours). The two approaches together force your body to burn more fat because there are fewer carbohydrates for fuel and you have put your body in a fasted state. It includes a 21-Day complete meal plan developed and approved by a registered dietitian plus a transition week where I teach you how to do Keto on your own! It comes with all the recipes, grocery lists, food swaps, etc. you need to implement the program. Plus…a success guide, a private Facebook group. AND – most importantly – it comes with me! A certified health coach and personal trainer who will guide you. 

Reserve your spot here: KetoFast

questions? Email me at


Personal wellness, Uncategorized

182.5 and Counting…

1894381-Kara-Goucher-Quote-Progress-is-rarely-a-straight-line-There-areGuess what today is? Day #182.5 (at noon ET for me). The official midpoint of 2018. 

So…how are you doing on the health and wellness goals and resolutions you set for 2018? Are you halfway to achieving them? Statistically speaking you’re probably among the 80% who gave up on their resolutions by February. Ouch. Sorry.

I’m not trying to call you out and make you feel badly. Instead, I’m giving you a big old pass on all of it. I despise New Year’s resolutions and avoid making them at all costs. And you should too. Because your best intentions don’t always account for life. How on earth are you supposed to know what might happen in March, August or December of the coming year to be able to plan a year-long health or fitness goal?  You’d have to be a fortune teller to be able to predict that.

In the last 6 months I changed jobs, started my own business and decided to become a group fitness instructor. Some of that was planned, but not all of it. And, none of the stress or schedule disruption was accurately predicted. As such, my fitness and nutrition commitments shifted based on my life and schedule. That’s ok!

Sooooo…if you are one of the 80%, take a deep breath and read on for my 5 tips to Get Fit by the end of 2018.

Notice…no use of the word “resolution”. I promise you this. If you do these 5 things consistently until the end of the year, you will feel better, lose weight (if you need to) and have more energy. I’ll bet you a free personal training session if it doesn’t work.

  1. Cut the Carbs. Even the so-called whole grain “good ones”. I’m reading The Obesity Code, which basically reveals that all conventional dieting wisdom is a bunch of CRAP and that weight loss and weight gain is all about insulin and insulin resistance. And, what raises insulin? Refined, highly-processed carbs. Even the whole grain carbs we’ve been told are better for us. I am challenging you to track what you eat for one week and then cut the carbs you consume in half. Yep. In. Half. Do that for a week and see how you feel?
  2. Stop the Snacking. Again, the advice you’ve been given for years that “grazing” is the best way to control blood sugar is kinda bogus. So, yes, maintaining blood glucose levels is important so you don’t have big spikes and valleys. However, you can do that by simply eating 2-3 meals a day without lots of snacks. Plus, your body needs time between meals to rest and digest. If you keep feeding it, you keep it working to burn what you’ve just eaten – and you don’t get to burning what is stored as fat. Let your body burn through your meal first. Don’t snack but instead let your body use stored glucose and fat to sustain you until the next meal.
  3. Bail on Breakfast. I hate to be the breakfast buzzkill but the lobbying industry and cereal companies came up with “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Not science or researchers. Breakfast literally means to break a fast. Doesn’t say it has to be first thing in the morning. Most of us aren’t even hungry yet and our body releases the needed hormones and energy to get us through the morning. My challenge to you, try putting off your first meal until later –11 a.m. or noon. It’s called intermittent fasting and it’s a game changer when it comes to your health and wellness. I’ve been doing it for a while now and it has helped with not only weight loss but inflammation, energy, sleep, etc. Download my IF 101 for a primer on how to get started. But the bottom line is this…if you aren’t hungry at 7 a.m., don’t force yourself to eat. By delaying the release of insulin, you’ll burn more stored fat for energy.
  4. Leave the Calorie Counting Cult. Ok…my clients are probably like, WTH?? You make us track all our calories. And, I do. As a way to be aware. Not obsessed. Again, The Obesity Code has taught me that quantity of calories is LESS important than the quality and the timing. So, while it’s good to be aware of what, when and why you’re eating, I don’t think it’s a good idea to freak out if you go over what you believe to be your maximum calories. I also encourage the idea of eating mindfully and stopping when you feel full and starting when you feel hungry.
  5. Wash it Down with Water. For once and for all…stop the soda, diet soda, Crystal Light drinks, stevia, Splenda, etc. Drink water. Put some fresh fruit in it to infuse some flavor but choose water as your go-to beverage at meal time and throughout the day. You should be drinking ½ your body weight in ounces PLUS 8 oz. for every cup of caffeine you drink (coffee, tea, etc.) because as magical as caffeine is…it’s dehydrating.

This is my advice to those who find themselves at the midpoint of 2018 and no further along with their health and wellness goals.

None of these are cutting edge or questionable. They are legit in terms of science and can help you start to feel good, look good and be confident.

Have more questions about these or another health and wellness topics? Let’s talk! Fill out my FREE Wellness Assessment and get a 30-minute Well Chat where you can pick my brain for 30 minutes on anything wellness related.

Until next time…be happy, be healthy and have some fun!



food, Personal wellness, Uncategorized

Carbs ARE the Enemy – If We Let Them Win

Well…it’s official. I’ve gone from a grammar geek to a nutrition nerd. Actually, I’m still a grammar geek but now I’ll walk around equipped with a red pen AND a BMI calculator.
What has me all worked up? Macronutrients. I know – super controversial. But it is! In the last two days I’ve read two articles citing studies that point to the real and present danger refined carbs present. What are refined carbs, you ask? They aren’t classy carbs that are well educated. Refined carbs are white rice and pasta, cakes, cookies, commercially prepared breads and baked goods. All the stuff we’ve grown to love.

In these articles, two things stood out to me as a middle aged woman (only one of these applies to you, fellas):

1. “A growing body of evidence seems to indicate that the modern Western diet – high in processed and refined foods – can lead to cognitive decline and dementia.” 

2. ” Each portion of carbs, such as pasta and rice, consumed per day correlated with experiencing menopause 1.5 years earlier. “

Now, I don’t know about you but I’m in no hurry to experience dementia or menopause so why wouldn’t I look at my diet and try to improve it? We’re not talking about taking more pills or doing something otherwise dangerous. This is about breaking up with nutrient-deficient carbs in exchange for with nutrient-rich foods like lean proteins, legumes, eggs, vegetables, etc.

I’m all about feeding myself properly to avoid taking a pill…call me crazy! As good old Hippocrates said, “Let food by thy medicine.” Right on, man.

What I’m here to tell you is that I know…and science supports…the fact that refined carbohydrates are not healthy. Period. So, instead of trying to convince you of that (I’m happy to send loads of research your way), I’m focusing on how I can help you break that addiction (it’s an addiction for real).

I love finding ways to eat what I crave but in a healthier way. So, as you consider your carb intake, keep these 3 tips in mind.


1. Fiber first. If you are going to have carbs eat those with lots of fiber. Fiber isn’t sexy but it’s a hardworking micro-nutrient that keeps you fuller, helps your digestive tract function properly, and it grabs cholesterol on its way out.  Read labels to see how much fiber is contained in a food.  Just because something says “whole grain” doesn’t mean it’s healthy. You should be aiming for at least 25 grams of fiber a day and the easiest way to do that is to eat foods that have natural fiber in them – vegetables, fruit and whole grains that are minimally processed.

2. Sneaky sugar. Sugar is a carb. And it has many names. Worse yet, it’s in almost everything! Condiments. Pasta sauce. Dairy products. Naturally occurring sugar in fruit (fructose) isn’t the culprit here. Fruit also has fiber which is a benefit to your system (see tip #1). I’m talking about artificial sugars (even the calorie free versions) and sugars by other names – dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, carob syrup, maltodextrin, and the list goes on. There are some 60 different names for sugar. Don’t be fooled by the verbiage and check everything — sugar (and therefore carbs) can show up where you least expect it.

3. Fear not the Fat. Fat has a bad reputation. For decades, we were told to eat low or non fat foods. YUCK! The problem with eating no fat is that you aren’t satisfied after you eat. Furthermore, to take fat out and still make a food taste good, you have to add a bunch of artificial crap (did you ever read the label of nonfat sour cream? It’s a science experiment). Let me give a real example. It’s taco Tuesday and you make lean ground turkey taco meat and top it with non-fat sour cream and low fat cheddar cheese. There’s very little fat in that meal. You think it’s healthy and it may be low calorie but you eat one taco and it’s meh. Then you think, well, this is low fat so I can one (or 3) more. All the while, you aren’t really enjoying it because fake sour cream and cheese taste like plastic goo. You end up eating more, feeling less satiated and in a few hours you’re craving something else. Fat makes you happy. If you had made those tacos with grass-fed ground beef, real sour cream, real cheese and some yummy avocado slices on top, you would feel full and satisfied with 1 or 2 tacos. Why? Because, unlike carbs and protein, which have 4 calories per gram – fat packs a bigger calorie punch with 9 calories per gram. That helps keep you feeling full longer. When you cut fat out, you risk eating too many carbs and often, not the good ones. When you do, you play the blood sugar game of highs and lows all day – chasing more energy with coffee and a snack from the vending machine.

Word of warning: If you jump on the “fat is good” bandwagon but still eat a lot of carbs, your body will naturally use the carbs first and store the fat. Oops. Not what you wanted. So you need to balance it and chose wisely…from sources like nuts, avocados, coconut oil, salmon, shellfish and grass-fed or organically-raised meats. Spoiler alert…Trans fat is still nasty and bad. Don’t go there!
I hope these tips help you sort through the never-ending debate over carbs and fat. Protein somehow always looks good in these discussions…but that’s another topic for another blog post!

The bottom line is this…you need carbs. For your body and your brain.

The reality is…you probably don’t need as many as you’re consuming and if you want to lose weight, it could be what’s standing in your way.

With this new found knowledge you might be thinking, “hey I want to change my diet a bit and eat more of that yummy, healthy fat Niki was talking about.”

Yay! Wait, though…I haven’t even told you the best part of higher fat and lower carb… eating healthy fats can help you lose fat. True story.
So if wanting a little more fat in your diet while losing the fat on your butt seems like a win-win to you, consider joining me and other like-minded peeps in my KetoFast program – a combo of a Ketogenic meal plan with an Intermittent Fasting eating schedule.

A Ketogenic diet and lifestyle is higher in fat, low in carbs and moderate in protein. Done right, it helps your body adapt to using fat as a preferred energy source vs. carbohydrates. And, when combined with Intermittent Fasting (another educational blog post coming your way soon!) it makes your body a better fat burning machine.

My KetoFast program isn’t the typical Keto diet.

You can’t eat endless quantities of cheap, greasy burgers without the buns, and pounds of deli meat and convenience store beef jerky. It’s clean. Low in preservatives and sodium. It’s moderate in carb consumption (about 50 grams per day). These differences make it a lifestyle instead of a DIET (ugh, hate that word). Most people who start a DIET don’t succeed because it’s not sustainable. Strict Keto diets limit you to 20 grams of carbs a day. That’s very difficult to maintain especially when you consider that things like vegetables, nuts and some proteins contain carbohydrates. And, I’m not about advocating for a no carb approach.  It teaches you how to eat healthier all around for sustained weight loss and greater wellness.

If you’re interested, I’m going to be doing a webinar to explain the program and share some results my test group is experiencing. I’ll also be talking about how Intermittent Fasting plays a role and amplifies your results.

Hit me up if you’d like to receive an invitation to the webinar. If you’re already familiar with Keto and want info on the program. We start soon and I’d love for you to be part of it! Email me at

I want us all to be better informed about the nutrients that fuel us so we can eat better, live longer and have active lives.

Have a happy and healthy day!