The Before and During…

Well guys…I feel like I’m far enough along in my health journey to share something with you.

First of all, I don’t like before and after pictures. It sends the wrong message on so many levels. My before may look like someone’s after. I don’t want to hurt and discourage them. My after isn’t really an after, implying that I’m “done” being healthy or that I’m “done” maintaining my weight.

I’m still not where I want to be. Mentally? I’m doing GREAT. I’m where I want to be. Physically, I want to be and feel healthier.

So I’m hesitant to share this. I’ve seen so many before and after pictures in my lifetime and it rarely ever motivated me. It usually just lead to self loathing and being angry about my body.

So before I share this with you, please know I have no ill intentions when I share my results with you.

There is so much more than what meets the eye when I share this post with you. If I could somehow take a picture of the mindset shifts and my thought process that has changed more than the weight on the scale, I would share that instead. But I can’t. So I’m sharing the results of the mindset shift instead.

When you’ve lost weight, the FIRST thing people will ask: “What’s your secret?” and “What have you been doing?”

I feel really silly when I tell them that a podcast is my secret. But it is! This is absolutely the results of a lifestyle change and a mindset shift. It has very little to do with what I eat. Yes my diet has changed but it is changed more by my desire for health, my desire to fuel my body with nutrients, and loving myself.

How many people start a diet because they hate the way they look? I started this health journey because I LOVE myself, I LOVE my body, and I want to LOVE the way I look. I want to feel confident.

So how do I do that? The answer: Elizabeth Benton.

EB has a podcast that I’ve raved about called the Primal Potential podcast but she also has a book that I’ve also shared called Chasing Cupcakes. I cannot recommend these enough.

Here is the link to her BOOK:

But more than that, people ask me “Where do I start?” and here’s what I would recommend:

Elizabeth has a course called “Nutrition Fundamentals” and “Breaking Barriers.” These courses are on sale now, buy one get one for $1 and I feel like this is an excellent way to really break down the nutrition concepts and the mindset shifts required to make these kinds of changes. This is an excellent introduction to her platform and I cannot recommend them enough.

The Nutrition Fundamentals course description reads: It’s time to really understand your body and your metabolism. No more fads & hype!

The Breaking Barriers course description reads: Breaking Barriers in an online course that focuses on mindset transformation. Through powerful, short audio lectures and personalized tools, Breaking Barriers will empower you to stop looking externally for transformation, finally overcome what’s really been holding you back, and achieve lasting change! 

So I’m gong to link to her Holiday shop here where you can find the courses on sale for $99 each:

I snagged this mug this morning – one of my FAVORITE lessons from her podcast is about being a creative energetic problem solver – a mantra that I use in all aspects of my life when I’m faced with a challenge.

Please keep in mind that I am NOT being sponsored to say any of this. I have chatted with Elizabeth – yes actually her and not her team – through her Daily Mindset Upgrades. She is truly a gem of a human and I’m so excited to share this life changing content with you FOR FREE! But it isn’t a quick fix, this isn’t a lose weight fast kind of thing. It takes time and it takes work and a commitment to yourself to make lasting change.

Let me know if you place an order! I’d love to chat more about her content!

Thanks for reading guys! See you soon!

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If you ever purchase any amazon products from MY link, I do get commission. If you buy, let’s just say, $150 worth of other stuff while you’re on Amazon by following my link, I also get commission on those things you purchase. It’s a way to support my blog and it is a way to score some great quality products. I just want to be honest with you guys. I would have raved about these products even if I didn’t make any money off of it.

A Beautiful Day

I had two really awesome days in a row.

Read about my Friday here:

Read about my Saturday morning here:

So now that you’re all caught up, I’ll tell you about my Saturday afternoon now!

So mom watched the boys so I could buzz down to Sumner – a town about 20 minutes South of us. Sumner has two of my favorite stores, Grain and Thread and Maker’s Market. I needed to get some Christmas shopping done and I totally nailed it! I just love the ladies who own these stores and look forward to visiting with them along with shopping.

I’ve committed to shopping LOCAL this year – I will not order anything off of Amazon or big box stores! Our local businesses took quite a hit this year and need our support now more than ever – I hope you consider shopping local as well.

While I was helping mom, Craig called and said he was getting off of work early! We wanted to fit ONE MORE round of mountain biking in this year. We got to Decorah just in time and we learned the trails were not ideal for trail riding. So while we were at the store to rent bikes, we looked around. I knew I wanted to get Carver a NICE bike – a real bike – and we found it.

In the meantime, Craig and I (as you know) LOVE mountain biking and we want to buy our own e-bikes. The price is hefty, not gonna lie. The average e-mountain bike is $5,000. I talk more about biking in this blog post: and this one:

Craig and I are set on investing in bikes and today we finally pulled the trigger and got a DEAL on a Rail 7 – the bike Craig has been renting and riding all Summer and we are so so thrilled. Here it is:

That’s an old picture but that’s the exact bike he bought! They were going to retire it to rental only when Craig made an offer at our favorite local bike shop and we also got Carver’s bike for Christmas but don’t tell him 😉

We did a quick lap around Decorah – an 11 mile trail with a complimentary fitness hybrid e-bike rental! It was COLD but BEAUTIFUL and we still got ride time in today which is exactly what we needed. The facemasks were for WARMTH and not COVID protection!

We got up to 28 mph on the e-bike which is just stellar. I would recommend e-bikes to ANYONE – if you are an experienced biker you would love it to go longer and harder. If you are a novice biker, you can easily navigate many trails with little effort. I can’t imagine any other way to mountain bike!

Pork Nachos

We ate at Craig’s favorite BBQ restaurant – Old Armory BBQ and our favorite ice cream shop – The Sugar Bowl was just hours from closing their season so I snagged my favorite ice cream for dessert!

Please excuse my helmet hair!

Now we are snuggling in bed watching our favorite vlogger: The Minnesota Millennial Farmer Zach Johnson. The plan detailed in last night’s blog post where Gannon goes to bed first and Carver next TOTALLY worked and they both slept in their rooms all night for the first time in months.

What an awesome day – so grateful for so much today.

I hope you all have a great Sunday! Thanks for reading!

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I had an awesome Friday. Part of that was because of a new question I ask myself every morning: What does my ideal day look like? Well, I did exactly that!

I finished work this morning and had an awesome chat with my mom on the way home. I got home and recorded a podcast – that’s up on Spotify right now in case you want to check it out:

Listen for free on Spotify:…

Listen for free on Anchor:…/episodes/Overcoming-Overeating-emp7ne

P.S. YOU DONT NEED a Spotify account to listen 😉

So I slept really well, woke up, took a shower and headed over to my mom’s. We have really good friends of ours that feel more like a cousin to us. I’ve known her girls since they were very young when my mom watched them at childcare. Our kids have grown to be fast friends and she comes over to cut all of our hair.

There is Carver and Sawyer playing ghosts – Gannon walked around with a pillow on his head and chased after them trying to keep up with the big kids. It was super cute.

Carver was super excited and gave Sawyer a big hug before she was ready. I told Carver that he should always ask before he gives someone a hug. He stopped what he was doing, backed up, and asked her, “Can I give you a hug?” Then she jumped into his open arms – so so cute and a really simple way to teach consent. You can read more on my kids and consent blog post here:

All of my boys got a trim, we had a lovely time catching up and cooking and having a beer. Uncle Karl was home and we just love any time we get with Uncle Karl and speaking in Spanish with him.

Now I’m snuggled in bed with my boys – we are trying something new: putting Gannon to bed first, letting him fall asleep, Carver gets some special time with mom and dad and then Carver goes to bed. We’ve had some REALLY rough nights so I hope this works!

I anticipate a few “shame on you” comments for not masking up and meeting with someone outside of our home but a) these are kids from my mom’s childcare and carver plays with them regularly – we have to have somewhere to take our kids so I can keep working and b) my mom and Karl are part of that team that watched the boys so I can work.

Tomorrow we are trying to decide what to do, I want to go biking, Craig thinks it might be too cold. Mom and I wanted to go to the Amish in the morning but we will see what the day brings!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and thanks for reading!

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Hey guys – I’ve got some exciting news – I have a podcast now! And my first episode is out! EEK!

I’ve been talking about it for awhile now and I finally pulled the trigger! I had some downtime today to record and it was SO EASY. I used an app/website called anchor to put it all together.

Check out my super FANCY recording studio – HA! Hopefully sometime soon I’ll get a nicer microphone to record! (maybe even record some of my music!)

To listen to my podcast, you can follow this link:

You can find me on Spotify and listen for free! I’m hopefully going to launch on a few more platforms someday but for today that’s where you can find me.

I had a busy day off today. I have Carver and Gannon home on Wednesdays so we spent breakfast time working on our Spanish flashcards:

And then we worked on a few puzzles. We measure how fast we can do a puzzle but how many replays of Shake It Off by Taylor Swift it takes to put it together. I LOVE Taylor Swift music and I love sharing that love with Carver. We also did some stretching/exercise which Carver is all about these days. They started having gym class at preschool and he loves it.

Tomorrow is a busy day – meeting with my personal trainer at 0530, then Gannon has speech therapy at 0900, then Gannon has a zoom meeting with his keystone team at 1100, then I have to nap with him before Carver gets off the bus and I head in to work night shift!

I feel like I had a nice relaxing day today, my first FULL day off since last Thursday. I checked quite a few things off my to do list and I’m ready to hit the ground running tomorrow (literally). Thanks for reading! Check out my latest posts to make sure you didn’t miss any!

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Treat Yo’ Self!

I’m walking this fine line between indulging and investing.

If you’ve read my blog post about being “Off The Wagon” meaning we haven’t been focusing as much money on our debt free journey as we did last year at this time, you’ll know we’ve been working to try and get back on track.

Most shifts available at the hospital right now are double pay shifts because we are so full of COVID patients. I’m working HARD. I’m paying off debt but I also took a tiny bit of an indulgence for myself.

I stayed in the hotel yesterday between shifts, only $25 out of my paycheck, my awesome hospital pays the rest, and I couldn’t sleep. I woke up around 3 pm, laid in bed, tossed and turned, called my mom, and Craig called. He said he ended up getting off work early. I wish I had known that and I would have gone home instead of the hotel – the boys are at Grandma Friedman’s for the weekend anyway. It could have been nice, we really haven’t seen each other and filled up our “batteries” since early September.

So I drug myself out of bed and I went about the business of brightening my day. I was pretty bummed, not gonna lie. I’m on a four night stretch and I miss my boys so much already.

So I went to TJ Maxx – a new favorite store of mine. Walked around, I love seeing all the Christmas decor even if I’m not in the market to buy. I bought myself a new candle – I LOVE candles – I always have one, if not two, going at a time when I’m home. Everything is well with my soul if the house is clean and a candle is burning… and especially if I have a nice cup of coffee. So I got a new mug too. And a new water jug – it’s HUGE and I love it because I’ve really been drinking a lot more water with it! So a little splurge, nothing fancy.

I ended up in Target next with some more time to kill. I saw a lot of things that I would like but I really just enjoyed the freedom of walking around, seeing what styles were in. I don’t need any new clothes – I don’t go anywhere! And when I do, I wear the same 5 things. For the first time in as long as I can remember I’m CONTENT with that.

I bought myself a new notebook for taking report at work. I got some new pens too that make me happy. I got a new perfume (again, love scents) and yes it was a splurge but all of these things make me happy:

New pens on a fresh notebook.

A spritz of perfume when I’m on my 4th night in a row and I’m feeling anything but fresh.

A coffee mug that reminds me “Nursing is a work of heart.”

A candle to make me feel cozy at home.

A huge water bottle to keep my body hydrated.

I topped off my little shopping trip with a iced chai tea latte from Starbucks and I made my way back to work. I searched and found a really healthy meal – salmon, a sweet potato, and lobster bisque for supper. It was delicious.

I don’t think that this was an unnecessary “splurge.” I think of it as a little pick me up. I love myself, I want to treat myself for all the hard work I’ve put in.

If you ask anyone who is trying to recover from any kind of addiction or bad habit, their goal is to be able to “just have one” and not go overboard.

Today, I achieved my “just had one” and I didn’t go overboard. I think that’s a good lesson, one I’ve worked hard to learn. I’ve gotten much better at really analyzing what makes me happy and what is “worth it.” My little treats today were worth it. I have no buyers remorse.

So where does that fall in my budget? I’m not too worried about that today.

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NEW RECIPE! Cabbage Breakfast Bowl!

Okay, I’ve heard about this recipe for MONTHS and I could not bring myself to try it. Cabbage? For breakfast? NO THANKS. I finally cooked it up, told myself that if I didn’t like it, I didn’t have to eat it…and guys…

I LOVE IT! I got the idea from my girl Elizabeth Benton and her fabulous fat loss friendly breakfasts! Here is the original recipe on her blog:

Here’s what you do:

Fry 2 slices of bacon

Add a handful of raw chopped cabbage, I bought like a bag of coleslaw chopped cabbage with carrots and red and green cabbage

Fry it up, chop up the bacon, I use my kitchen scissors

Once it is cooked to your liking, add it to a bowl or a plate

Add some avocado (I had some guacamole)

I threw in some cilantro because I throw cilantro into everything.

Add some Walnuts if you want some crunch

Fry up two eggs, I cook mine over easy so the yolk acts a little bit like a dressing

Here’s the most important part: ADD SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE

I love to add Cilantro/Lime Mayo too 🙂

Please excuse my post workout hair. I had Craig snap the picture before work. He walked by the stove as I was cooking and said “WHAT ARE YOU COOKING? That smells amazing!” He took a bite and loved it too!

I posted in my favorite Primal Potential Facebook group about how weird it sounded and how much I loved it. Here are some of the comments:

So shoutout to Elizabeth Benton, You have the most delicious recipes! If you haven’t read her book, find it on Amazon here:

But I really get the meat and potatoes of her content from her podcast – Primal Potential! I would start with this episode if you are just jumping in:

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you try and it you love it!

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