Embrace Challenge



A female Giraffe gives birth standing up, as the calf plummets toward the ground, the umbilical cord is snapped and upon impact the calf is given the pounding stimulus to breath.

A butterfly struggles to break out of the cocoon, a tedious and frustrating process to watch in real-time.  What happens when a person assists the butterfly?  The butterfly never flies.  It was not strengthened by the challenge, and it’s easy prey for a hungry bird.

Examples in nature of the importance of challenge are innumerable.  As humans we seem to be attracted to the idea that we are superior to nature and it’s our duty to make our lives easy.  We might have a tendency to want to be spoiled.  We might like it when someone knows how to read our mind, do what we want, and always agrees with us.  What are we learning if we surround ourselves with this type of environment?  Are we learning how to problem solve?  Are we learning how to get along with others?  Or are we essentially creating an artificial kingdom and treating ourselves as King or Queen of an empire of one?

In the hospital setting a nurse could be too “nice” by letting a new post op patient sleep all day, not getting them out of bed, not bugging them every hour to cough and deep breath.  The result?  A nasty post op pneumonia, risk of blood clots, etc.  A good nurse is kind to the patient, not necessarily nice.  A good nurse helps her patient face and implement challenge.

The human body is phenomenal example of the love of challenge.  Challenge a bone with a fracture the re-set bone heals stronger.   Challenge your muscles and they grow and strengthen.  Challenge your heart with exercise and it beats more efficiently even when resting.

So embrace challenge.  Welcome a different opinion.  Appreciate those who don’t agree with you and learn from them.  Don’t be a yes person, and help your friends confront difficulties.  Challenge your body and become stronger.  Remember,  “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy” —-Martin Luther King Jr.

Fabulous Fat




Low-fat, high-fat, saturated fat, non-saturated fat, I’m fat, you’re fat, fat, fat fat.  Why talk about fat?  Because your health engine depends on it.  When was the last time your car ran great without oil?  An engine is defined as a machine with moving parts that converts power into motion.   Your body is a super intelligent turbo engine that is circulating, detoxifying, problem solving, converting nutrients into energy, managing air quality, and rebuilding itself, even when you’re sleeping!  So how will you fuel your engine?

Why is finding the right fuel difficult?  Sadly a long time push for low fat diets and so-called “healthy fat” replacements has flooded the market with food fracked oils that have been proven to increase inflammation.  These oils are marketed as unsaturated, cholesterol free, and ”from the earth.”  When was the last time you picked a ripe canola and squeezed oil out of it?  How about corn?  Any success with your soybeans? These types of oils are heavily genetically modified and food fracked with chemicals in order to extract the oil, which in turn is cheaper to produce and easier to sell.   What about saturated fat?

For so many years saturated fat has been accused of causing coronary artery disease and obesity.  Research however has failed to prove that saturated fat makes us fat or increases the chances of coronary heart disease.  The underlying problem associated with nearly EVERY disease is proving to be inflammation, not saturated fat.  The truth is that your health engine LOVES saturated fat, is partly made of saturated fat, and would much prefer to burn fat as supposed to any other fuel you want to give it.  How do you then choose what kind of fat to fuel your engine?

Choose fabulous fat.   Fat that is grass fed, and real.  If you are cooking, use high heat tolerant fat like MCT oil (coconut), ghee, duck fat, and lard.  Eat real grass-fed butter, avocado, and olive oil.   Stay away from chemically fracked unsaturated fat; anything that says vegetable oil, canola oil, corn oil.

The health benefits of good fat include: improved memory, improved joint health and movement, decreased inflammation, improved mood, and increased energy.  So try giving your health engine the fuel it deserves and may you travel far.

Health Hound


Pearl is our 11 1/5 yr old redbones hound.  She has always been our beloved family dog, but recently she became one of our biggest health inspirations.  Here’s a little background on Pearl’s contribution….

This fall due to some unexpected health problems I began to question what I was doing to support my health.  I was fortunate to be directed to Dr. Shauna Young.  Shauna placed me on the Spectrum Protocol Diet.  Let me tell you, changing the way I ate was hard.  I have gone gluten-free, low-carb, low-fat etc., and I’ve had some success but sticking to a program for the long haul has always been a challenge for me.  At one of my appointments Shauna suggested I had some Bulletproof Collagen to my diet to boost my nutrition.  She also mentioned that she added a little collagen to her dog’s food and she noticed a difference in her dog’s health.  I decided to give it a try with Ol’ Pearl.

Pearl was showing some signs of aging, as expected.  She had been getting very arthritic.  My mother in law saw her and said, “It just makes me hurt watching Pearl get up and lay down, she looks like she’s in pain!”  At this point we started adding the collagen to her food and we noticed within a week she was moving better.  We decided to start adding bone broth in addition to the collagen for a little more nutrition.  Pearl’s movement and energy continued to improve.  By this time we are starting to waste a lot of things from our new diet:  free range chicken gristle, grass-fed bones, sweet potato skins, kale stocks etc.  It occurred to me that I could be utilizing all of this food and feeding it to Pearl.  (Pearl has always loved vegetables and fruit and we have consistently fed her whole food leftovers as treats.)  So we made a decision to quit buying “high quality” dog food from the pet store and we also quit buying expensive oil supplements to help improve her coat.  We started feeding her our whole food leftovers:  chicken skin, beef, fish skin, bone broth, animal fat, veggies and some fruit.

As mentioned earlier we were facing our own mental challenges with a change in diet.  For me part of the difficulty was the detox process taking place which included feeling great with alternatively feeling pretty darn awful, and this seemed to be on a 3-4 week cycle.  This is why I am glad we decided to change Pearl’s diet too.

Watching Pearl change from an older pain ridden hound into a youthful happy dog was POWERFUL.  The effects on her health were nearly immediate.  First she started trotting on our walks, and then she started running and baying to greet strangers and other dogs.  Soon she was acting almost puppy like.  One day my husband took her for a walk and she decided to leap down a snow bank and ended up barrel rolling to the bottom.  At this point she ran up to a mom with a toddler, the mom not knowing Pearl, grabs her child in horror, Pearl then starts leaping up to smell the child.  The terrified mom yells:  “GET CONTROL OF YOUR DOG, THIS IS INAPPROPRIATE!!”  My husband whose completely dumfounded by this new old dog behavior says, “Yes, you are right! Totally inappropriate!”   Pearl was happy to feel good, and feeling good enough to be bad.

Other health improvements we noticed:  No more horrible dog breath and overall bad dog odor, a bright shiny coat, remarkably less shedding, and a decrease in gray hair, seriously!

Watching Pearl has given us the motivation to continue to make healthy changes in our diet and when we feel like regressing we watch Pearl play, leap, howl, and be bad, then we think… well if it’s working for her, it’s gotta be working for us.




Incite: To Fire Up

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Why am I fired up about healthcare?  Because health care right now is actually “how to be sick care.”  As one professional termed it: healthcare in this country is actually disease management.  I find out I have a disease….my next question is, why do I have the disease and what can I do about it? I challenge you to ask your healthcare profession why.   Sadly the system as we know it is designed to tell you what you have but not why.  This is the crux of the matter.  How can I effectively control my disease if I don’t know why I have it? Why is taking a medication the first solution offered?

Research is your best friend.  What are the contributing factors?  Am I stressed? Do I hate my job? Do I hold on to resentment?  What is my diet like?

Most of us can identify things we’d like to change. The key is asking: What change can I employ in my life today?   Small changes equal great impact.  For today let’s look for ways to reduce sugar.  Replace your soda intake and halve your dessert.  After a week see how you feel.




Being Well

If I were to ask you, ‘When was the last time you felt well?’ What would you say?   Many of us have been taught that being well is the absence of being sick.  Is that really being well?  Until recently I didn’t even think about my own wellness.  I have worked as a Registered Nurse for 20 years and I often thought I was helping people be well by helping them feel less sick.  When I confronted my own health issues I began to question many of the “health” philosophies I have worked so closely with in my nursing profession.  Being less sick is still sick!  We want to be well!

Being well will then have to encompass a total feeling of well being.  A sense of real purpose, meaningful relationships, and good nutrition.  In order to be well we will have to be educated, and allowed to make informed choices about the direction of our health.   We will be the experts on our health.

I hope to share the many things that have incited me to take charge of my health and inspired me to have to courage to change.