How to Change Your Nutrition Habits

Have you ever cooked fresh crabs before? You know, where you just caught them and they’re still alive and crawling around (not to be morbid here, but) and don’t want to be in a pot of boiling water?

Have you considered how you can change your eating habits? Have you wanted to swap to healthier solutions but haven’t seem to have been able to thus far?

Have you considered the possibility that you’ve tried too much or too hard too quickly?

See – the way you cook fresh crabs, is: put them in comfortably temperatured water and heat it slowly, so they don’t necessarily notice. Soon, the water is boiling, and in a short amount of time after that, you’re enjoying fresh crab.

The same concept can be applied to your nutrition and eating habits.

If you turn up the heat too quickly, you’ll jump right out – just like the live crabs. But .. if you take a more progressive and process-oriented approach by changing your habits and choices gradually, you’ll look back 6 months to a year from now and realize the progress you’ve made. It wasn’t made overnight – it was a daily progressive process!

Instead of overhauling ALL of your less-than-optimally-healthy habits in this one day, today, what small change could you make in the meantime towards the goals that you wish to work towards? How can you break it down into smaller, “bite-sized” (pun intended and not intended, haha) steps to accomplish your full creation of healthy eating habits?

What’s ONE THING you can do today? Reach out to me if you’d like to talk about it. I’m big on processes and taking STEPS towards your goal.

7 Reasons Why It’s Good to Have a Coach

What do you do when you don’t know the answer to something? You go to someone (or some resource) that does, right?

Think of all the areas of life that coaches, trainers, mentors, etc, are beneficial: from dog or pet training, to business coaches and mentors, to tutors when you are studying a course or new skill, to apprenticeships, to parent-type influences in your life that you can lean on for an ear and wisdom-laden insight, and so much more .. and yes, also fitness trainers and nutritionists to help us to feel and perform at our best!

Typically, these relationships are finite (save the parent-type influences, often) – they have a beginning and an end. When you learn what the teacher has to teach you, you move on.

7 Reasons Why It’s Good to Have a Coach:

  • Outside insight to challenges: getting out of our own heads can be not only refreshing, but very productive. Without fresh information, we may not see solutions to our challenges.
  • Knowing you’re not alone: chances are, if you’re experiencing it, they’ve seen it before. They’re alongside you for the journey until you no longer need them.
  • Personal relationship: they get to know you and can reveal things to you that you may not have been aware of previously.
  • Fresh perspective: within the coaching relationship, they bring their experience and their expertise to the table, and you benefit.
  • Save time and frustration: don’t waste time figuring it all out on your own; find someone who has success in the area that you wish to see the same in your life, in the same way (philosophy) that you want it, as well.
  • Accountability: coaches typically give “homework” and/or reinforce what they are teaching and check in with you to see if you are learning and successfully applying what is being taught.
  • Results: good coaches are results-oriented and will be flexible to deliver their teachings and approach in a way that works for you, your personality, and your life variables. If results haven’t been had, then the job isn’t done. You are co-creating with them the success you wish to see (this is a partnership of sorts).

The value of education and training these days is invaluable. In what ways are you currently growing your potential in different areas of your life? Are you becoming a better family member, a better, more supportive significant other, a better friend, a more valuable asset to your workplace, and to yourself – are you growing into an exponentially happier version of you and taking care of your health and well being?

How so? I’d love to hear from you the ways that you are growing personally. As a holistic health and fitness trainer, I greatly value personal growth and I thoroughly enjoy talking about it, always!

Teachers help us to grow to the next level. Learning and growing brings a spice and excitement to life that cannot be measured.

I believe that “fitness” can be applied to ALL areas of life. And when we are stretching and growing, we are becoming more fit in those areas.

What are you growing towards?

Are you ready to take your health and fitness to where you really desire it to be? Want to do it effectively, as a sustainable lifestyle change that you enjoy, and not waste hours of time and a good amount of money in the process? Reach out to me and let’s explore. I offer a one-hour exploratory session to all of my prospective clients. The value is $95, I am currently offering it for $49.

Reach out to me via email or telephone, and feel free to check out the website for more information as well!

Let’s see what we can do together! | 804-367-3589 phone

10 Tips to Help You Stick to Your Goals

We all have encountered this one time or another – that we set out to accomplish a goal with all the drive and best of intentions, but then lose our steam along the way. How can we keep ourselves on track? Here are 10 tips to do so.
1. Set goals that are specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, and timely. The best goals have these attributes. They’re trackable, easier to break down into smaller habits of action, and the timeliness creates the urgency we need to implement the actions to get us there today. Know where you are at today in relation to the goal in mind to assess accomplishment probability.
2. Write them down. On paper. With a pen. The power of writing is not only meditative, causing our mind to focus on the object being written, visually, within our minds, but it is also a beginning act of bringing it to fruition – it is the first step of action towards its accomplishment.
3. Dig deeper. Know precisely why this goal is important to you and why it needs to be accomplished. What is the greater impact upon your life and the lives of those around you? Write this out, as well, and keep it in a place that is easily accessible to you throughout the day for the times when your motivation or commitment may wane.
4. Identify key habits to implement to take you to the goal. Preferably, identify daily habits to drop that do not aide you in the achievement of your goal, and daily habits to implement to help you get there. Limit each of these to 5 items each. Understand that goal achievement is a process, and there is much value to be gained within the process itself. You’ve heard the saying that “success is a journey, not a destination, the doing is often more important than the outcome.”
5. Schedule your habits. If they are schedulable, block out times to take the actions you identified to take daily. Find a solution that works for you – whether electronic or pen and paper.
6. Keep a habit log. Write down the habits that you identified above and keep a log daily of your completion or avoidance of the habits. Track your progress. This serves many purposes, including: the ability to see patterns over days and weeks, the accountability to hold you to the goal and habits you set forth for yourself, establishing daily wins along the way, giving you daily focus in on the goal you set, and keeping you motivated and further building your confidence.
7. Rehash your wins. Many times, we may lose motivation towards our goals if we feel we cannot accomplish them, or if we recall times in the past where we have fallen short to do so, or failed in any other way. Spend some time reliving some of your past wins, when you achieved various goals and felt most confident in yourself and your abilities.
8. Have accountability partners. Tell those whom are most supportive of the goal you have set about it, and why you want to do it. Communicate to them that you want them to help hold you accountable to achieve it. Those who have already achieved what you are working towards make great accountability partners.
9. Give yourself permission to be imperfect. Missing a day or two with any one of your habits you’ve intended to do won’t entirely ruin your chances of meting your goal. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Simply breathe, be kind to yourself, remind yourself of why you’re doing this, and start again the next day. Heck, even if you completely blow a goal that you really wanted to hit, there’s nothing saying that you can’t simply start afresh and succeed this next time.
10. Reward yourself along the way. Celebrate little wins. Celebrate appropriately. For example, don’t reward yourself with chocolate cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, if your goal is weight loss. Find another way to reward yourself – go to the spa, buy yourself a new clothing item or accessory you’ve been wanting to get, etc. Set up these rewards in advance so you have something to look forward to.
And remember, “success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” – Arthur Ashe
Want help? Want accountability from a coach to help you reach your goals most efficiently and effectively? Reach out to me and let’s talk about it!

Ending Sugar Addiction

Sugar addiction is very real. If you’ve never worked to eliminate added sugar from your diet, you may likely encounter withdrawal symptoms. The first week is reported to be the toughest, with breakthroughs happening after day 8.

I encountered the same when I detoxed from added sugar/sweeteners in 2015. The first 5 days were the worst for me. It was difficult to focus, I was cranky, I had a recurring headache, and was generally quite tired. However, after 21 total days, I didn’t actually want to add a lot of added sugar into my diet because I was feeling SO good – I had better mental clarity and focus, I felt lighter (and was lighter), the skin on my face that had been prone to breakouts was so much clearer, and I was quite happy overall – my entire mood changed.

Today, when I do occasionally eat “unhealthfully” – an extra added amount of sugar, etc – it doesn’t actually feel good to me afterwards, so I am not likely to do it often.

For more info on the not-so-pleasant affects that sugar has on your body, check out this article from Healthline.

You CAN get to this place, too. It takes a good amount of energy on the front end to break the habit/addiction to sugar and added sugar, but the rewards are immense, and totally worth it.

I’m running a “no added sugar” challenge for my clients for the month of September to help support this change. If I can help you to kickstart your changes, reach out to me and let’s have a conversation about it.


What if You Miss a Workout??


Sometimes, life gets in the way of your goals – and the goal in this case being a scheduled workout on your calendar. “Life” here can be: not feeling well, schedule conflicts arise that are out of your control, and much more.


So what do you do if you miss a workout?


Well, per usual, it depends. What is the goal of your workout?
Is it a full body workout? If so, then you can make it up tomorrow if your circumstances allow. However, you must be mindful if you need or have a planned day of rest between that workout and the next one in your week (as in, back-to-back to make up for a missed one may not be your solution here).


In other cases, you may have a workout planned that is more specific – let’s say, an upper body strength workout, and if you don’t do it, then you won’t get the chance to do it until next week. In that case, I would say to go ahead and get it in tomorrow even if you have a lower body or different workout planned the day after.


For example, I am training for a marathon. Some runs are more “optional” than others, however, the way that I have specifically set up my plan, each run has a purpose: recovery, endurance, or base-building. I’ve missed one run this season due to being very tired/not feeling well. (When I commit to a race, I commit to each step of the way – meaning, every training run that takes me there. I hold myself highly accountable for doing all of the runs, barring any nagging pain or potential injury. If it hurts, I take a day off. (Thankfully, this season has gone wonderfully well and I built a slow, conservative base – another example of thinking long term and process, if you read the email from Sunday!)


You may not be training for a marathon, so the variables are different. However, a planned strategy of building muscle and then leaning down with circuit training also requires a high level of accountability. If you’re missing workouts due to getting sick or feeling unwell or tired, you likely need to reassess your recovery approach. Are you eating well? Are you eating enough? Are you sleeping enough and resting enough?


If you aren’t thinking long term and process-driven, one missed workout can be a mental hurdle that can throw you off of your routine. In the end, if you miss one, stick to your schedule and pick it back up on your next workout day, instead of trying to fit it all in in a short period of time.


Your body is your tool, and you must take care of it to ensure you can do all of the things that you need to and want to do.


Questions? Drop me a line. I’d love to help.


Think Long Term and Process

Do you have a big health/fitness goal? Have you been thinking about it for a while now? Have you embarked upon it? Have you started only to have gotten overwhelmed or discouraged by it?
Sometimes, you get the big push of energy (take New Years’ resolutions, for instance) only to peter out of energy after a few months. Or weeks. Or days.
It’s a really good thing to act upon those things that you really want to see within your life. But for must take a long term, (or a proper amount of time) to accomplish it, and realize, that you may not get it all right every day, but that each day is a step in that direction. 
Sometimes the steps are even backwards. That can be frustrating and disappointing. It doesn’t feel good. Unless you believe without doubt that you are going to get to the goal, and you don’t pull your energy or attention away from it. If you never let the vision go, plan and follow through on actions that take you there, you WILL get it. If you go “backwards,” or come across circumstances that make it difficult to accomplish your goals, you just must consistently make changes to align yourself with that which what you want to see in your life.
On to steps and processes – a big goal (well, any goal, really), are more easily palatable and more guaranteed to happen when you break it down into smaller pieces. You’ve likely heard the adage, “How do you eat an elephant?” (“One bite at a time.”)
You cannot do it all at once. Little steps every day, every week, every month, and every year make for a whole new life 5 years from now. 
Lifestyle change is like this. Don’t overestimate what you can do in a day and underestimate what you can do in 5 years.
In our instant, “microwave mindset” culture today, this isn’t really a popularly marketed thought. But it’s a successful one.
Want to explore this more? Are you going to attend the info session I’m holding this Thursday for my curriculum? These are examples of things that I teach as I come alongside you to help you accomplish your health and fitness goals. You CAN do it. You CAN accomplish them. Even if you’ve tried before. Even if you haven’t. Its $15 to attend and lasts 60-90 minutes. Let me know if you want to come!

Hidden Sugar


You’ve likely heard and know that sugar has been added to SO many of the products we have access to these days. It can be difficult to get away from them if we are accustomed to the sugar content because it tastes good to us. That’s why reducing sugar intake can be a difficult task to take on. But there’s hope ..


First, let’s list a few of the ways that added sugar wrecks our bodies: weight increase and obesity, metabolic issues, inflammation, havoc on our immune systems, increased risk of heart disease and type II diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, tooth decay, as well as mental damage – increasing depression, anxiety, and lack of focus. Oh, and breakouts – anyone want less zits? Sure, we’re not entirely about the aesthetics here – but we definitely do feel better overall when we feel we look better.


Sugar is naturally found in foods such as fruit (fructose) and milk (lactose). Added sugars include any sugars or caloric sweeteners that are added to foods or beverages during processing or preparation (such as putting sugar in your coffee or adding sugar to your cereal). Added sugars (or added sweeteners) can include natural sugars such as white sugar, brown sugar and honey as well as other caloric sweeteners that are chemically manufactured (such as high fructose corn syrup).


You can use sugars to help enhance your diet. Adding a limited amount of sugar to improve the taste of foods (especially for children) that provide important nutrients, such as whole-grain cereal, low-fat milk or yogurt, is better than eating nutrient-poor, highly sweetened foods.

However, here are some products that you may not realize have added sugar (or rather the amount that they contain!): breakfast cereals, granola, oatmeal, protein bars, pasta sauces, canned soup, ketchup & BBQ sauces, gravy, salad dressing, coleslaw, bread & sandwiches, peanut butter, vitamin water, yogurt .. (more here!)

The next time you’re picking up a pre-made item from the grocery store, check the ingredients for the following: Anhydrous dextrose, brown sugar, cane crystals, cane sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, crystal dextrose, evaporated cane juice, fructose sweetener, fruit juice concentrates, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, liquid fructose, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, pancake syrup, raw sugar, sugar, syrup, white sugar, fructose, lactose, maltose, carbitol, concentrated fruit juice, corn sweetener, diglycerides, disaccharides, evaporated cane juice, erythritol, Florida crystals, fructooligosaccharides, galactose, glucitol, glucoamine, hexitol, inversol, isomalt, maltodextrin, malted barley, malts, mannitol, nectars, pentose, raisin syrup, ribose rice syrup, rice malt, rice syrup solids, sorbitol, sorghum, sucanat, sucanet, xylitol and zylose.

I know. That’s a big list.

One other thing to pay attention to: ingredients are listed by weight from most to least. So, the higher that a sweetener is in the ingredients list, the more that there is within it.

​​​​​​​Education and awareness can help us to make the best choices for our bodies!
Have a lovely weekend!

Exercise and Mental Health

You probably are aware that exercise has a plethora of benefits, among which can include lowering risk of chronic disease such as diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and cardiovascular disease, as well as lowering weight and making movement more comfortable in functional daily activities.

There are many other wonderful benefits that exercise has, also, on the mind. A study published back in 2006 states that “aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing, have been proved to reduce anxiety and depression. These improvements in mood are proposed to be caused by exercise-induced increase in blood circulation to the brain and by an influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and, thus, on the physiologic reactivity to stress. This physiologic influence is probably mediated by the communication of the HPA axis with several regions of the brain, including the limbic system, which controls motivation and mood; the amygdala, which generates fear in response to stress; and the hippocampus, which plays an important part in memory formation as well as in mood and motivation.”

So, exercise helps because we are getting greater blood flow to the brain and throughout our bodies, we are training our bodies to respond to stress better, and, it’s easier to continue moving once we start because it feels good and we get motivated by it as well.

“Other hypotheses that have been proposed to explain the beneficial effects of physical activity on mental health include distraction, self-efficacy, and social interaction.”

“Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal”

Even brisk walking 3 times a week for 30 minutes can provide wonderful benefits, including:
  1. Improved sleep
  2. Increased interest in sex
  3. Better endurance
  4. Stress relief
  5. Improvement in mood
  6. Increased energy and stamina
  7. Reduced tiredness that can increase mental alertness
  8. Weight reduction
  9. Reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness
Read more of this article here! It was published titled “Exercise for Mental Health” and dives deeper into other psychological conditions. I merely wanted to reference it here for you, but if you want more info, check it out!

It’s beautiful weather out right now to begin doing just this: walking 3x/week for 30 minutes.

If you’re not already doing aerobic activity, will you start?

PS: Did you know about my curriculum that I put together to take you from wherever you are with your health, fitness, and overall wellness, to wherever you want to go? It’s a year long program that I created to truly set up sustainable and enjoyable lifestyle change for you. Want to know more? Check out the info session details on the events page of the RW site here! The session is set for next Thursday, September 14th, at 7:00 – 8:30 pm at the Richmond Wellness studio. I hope to see you 🙂 RSVP by reaching out to me or do so directly on the website. Let me know if you have any questions!

For your health, fitness, and total wellness!

Get a Schedule that Works for You!

So, many of us are thinking about back-to-school, the beginning of fall, and more. How can we reorganize our schedules accordingly? 
Surely, we have to adjust with the seasons, and these seasons bring transitions of students going back to school, whether it be grade school or furthering their education, I recognize that parents are a part of it! 
So, in an effort to consider this, I would like to encourage you to take some time to take a step back and analyze your own personal goals. What is it, in the mix of all that is going on, that you would like to do? 
I’m such a cheerleader of what you would like to do. With that being said, I want to always take into consideration the life that you have to work around to make your own personal fitness a priority. I get it. Although I don’t have children (etc) of my own, I really do get having LIFE that impedes on what you may want to accomplish with your health/fitness/wellness.
In that space, I want to encourage you to examine and organize how you’d like to see your autumn happen. What is it that you want to accomplish? How can you accomplish it with the life that you’ve already got going on? It’s possible – we truly just have to find a way. And we can certainly do that. 
The beginning of the day is truly such a great time to get in what only you want to. Be it a run, a yoga session, a strength/weight training session, etc. What can we schedule .. could you get up a little earlier, etc .. to get in what you’re envisioning of getting in? Strength, endurance/running, etc? 
Think in the realm of possibilities. Versus being a victim of circumstance. We can ALWAYS control what we are experiencing as well as what we contribute. WHAT IS IT that you truly want to do? This is critical to know. You CAN do it, and you CAN DO IT ALL, if you properly plan for it!
And, if I can help, let me know! Reach out to me. 
Happy Labor Day Weekend to you!! 

Positive Affirmations + Fitness = Better Results


Fitness is not only physical – it is mental and spiritual as well. When I say physical, I’m speaking of the actions and movement. When I speak of mental fitness, I’m referring to the thoughts that we have. Finally, when I speak of spiritual fitness, I’m speaking of the core beliefs that we hold about ourselves and our abilities and more.


Did you know that your own thoughts and beliefs can either help or undermine your health and fitness?


Research is showing that self-critical thoughts can make you less likely to change harmful habits. They may also be linked to chronic stress and mental health issues such as depression.


Further, research is suggesting that self-compassion and self-acceptance foster good habits and good mental health.


If you find yourself in a thought storm of negative self-judgments and the ways you compare yourself to others (fitness and beyond), take notice. What ARE you doing well? You truly should only be competing with yourself to be the best you that you can be. If you’re even a smidgen better today than yesterday, that is a victory.


Be kind to yourself and care for yourself just as you would care for friends and family.
You deserve it!