October 9, 2014.  Week 29.  10 lbs down.



Life is busy. It’s hard to get everything done. We have commitments, schedules, chores, responsibilities. Jobs. We try to do it all, but sometimes when we focus too much on one, the others get left behind. I am working on that.

CLICK HERE for a list of my weight loss videos or HERE to go directly to my YouTube channel.

I have made a few decisions for myself based on priorities. The first was to change my exercise routine. I had to make it fit into my schedule, while keeping it enjoyable enough to maintain.

I have created a workout calendar that looks a little like this:

Monday:          40 minute run / 10 minute arms (free weights)

Tuesday:          10 minute legs (squats, lunges, etc. with weights)

Wednesday:     Yoga

Thursday:        10 minute arms (free weights)

Friday:             40 minute run / 10 minute legs (squats, lunges, etc. with weights)

I take weekends off.

If you saw my last video you will know that I have been having mixed feelings about doing the exercises I love as opposed to those I hate. I think I came to a good, happy medium. I am doing both. Notice that my strength training is only ten minutes. You might think that’s not enough, but those ten minutes are intense training. Those ten minutes are spent doing all the things I hate. Lunges, squats and push-ups. I despise lunges! But, I know they get me results. When I first started this journey in March, I did a lot of those exercises I hate. They were working! But, then I took a break. A long break. I stopped doing it because I hated it. I wanted to go for a run instead. Then my weight loss plateaued.

Basically, the intense personal training program that I had been doing didn’t stick long-term. I am ok with that. Really, I am. Because I think I can do this a better way. By following my new schedule of only working hard for ten minutes, I can push myself through it. Ten minutes is a lot easier to get through than an hour. Maybe this new schedule will work. Maybe it won’t. I have been following it for a week and a half. If I find I am not losing any weight, I will change it. This is a learning experience for me.

The weekly videos were causing me stress. Not only because some weeks I had no weight loss to report, but because I have other, more important things to do. I have decided to post my videos monthly rather than weekly. I need to focus on other areas of my life. My family. My job. My home. Those dishes are not going to wash themselves.

Of course, losing weight is a huge priority for me. Trust me, it’s right up there with spending quality time with my family. I have lost ten pounds since I started this journey! I am stronger than when I started and getting stronger every day.

I know everybody wants fast results. You want to see the ‘before’ and ‘after’ picture and be amazed. I have lost ten pounds, and yes, it took me months to get where I am now. I am not going to ‘wow’ you with promises of losing ten pounds in ten days, or dropping two sizes in two weeks. This is not what I’m about. What I can do is teach you how to eat a healthy, real food diet that will nourish your body. I can share with you my own personal approach to weight loss. I can let you know that it’s not easy, but it can be done. Every day you have the ability to make healthy choices and establish your priorities.

168 lb selfie May 2014

me at 168 lbs.

We all have the same amount of minutes in a day. What will you choose to do with your time?



Melissa’s Story

Meet Melissa.

She is currently 17 weeks pregnant with her second child.

She has won my Biggest Contest Ever. This means from now until she has her baby in March, we will be working closely together on her prenatal health and nutrition goals.

Wild chamomile. White flowers. Selective focus. Bokeh

*Every individual is unique and will have different nutritional needs. The recommendations I make for Melissa may or may not benefit other women who have similar experiences. The nutritional advice given to Melissa is based on a specific, detailed health and lifestyle assessment. They will not apply to every pregnant woman. If you are interested in a personal assessment for yourself, please send an e-mail to karen@natureprenatal.com.

Melissa’s assessments and recommendations are much more detailed than what is in this blog post. Here, I am sharing her most important issues and some random topics. The information that is shared between us is extensive and continual.

When Melissa and I first started working together, her main complaint was nausea.   As we all know, morning sickness is very common for a lot of women. One thing I want to stress for all pregnant women, is to take prenatal vitamins. In fact, women should start to take prenatal vitamins 3 – 6 months before conception. Often nausea is a result of a nutrient deficiency, and something as simple as taking a vitamin can ‘top up’ levels if they are too low. Of course, I have said this before and I’ll say it again, do not rely solely on vitamins to give you what you need. Nutrition in the form of real, natural foods is the best form of nutrients you can get. Of course, I’m talking about foods like fruits and vegetables, legumes, meat and eggs, etc. You know, real food. Not so much the processed food that comes in a box, bag or a can. Women who are pregnant require extra nutrients to support the growth and development of their baby. When experiencing morning sickness or nausea, it is crucial to mom and baby that all essential nutrients are being absorbed. The best way to ensure this is by eating a varied, whole food diet in addition to high quality vitamins and/or supplements.

*Always talk to your doctor or midwife about any vitamins or supplements you take.

In addition to prenatal vitamins, I have recommended that Melissa take fish oil and probiotic supplements. There have been various studies on both that confirm their benefits for mom and baby during pregnancy. For example, probiotics may reduce the risk of pregnancy complications like preeclampsia as well as reduce the baby’s risk of developing allergies. A good quality fish oil supplement will support a baby’s brain development and nervous system.

Now that her morning sickness has passed, Melissa is enjoying the second trimester and all the joys that come with pregnancy!

If you would like to be notified when I post my next blog about Melissa, you can sign up for my e-mail list HERE. To thank you for signing up, I will send you my free offer, “You and Your Baby: 7 Simple Steps to Achieving a Healthy Pregnancy and Happy Baby.”

Please feel free to leave a comment for myself or Melissa.

Vegetarian Shepherds Pie


I want to get one thing straight right away.  I am not a vegetarian.  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against a vegetarian diet.  In fact, I believe we should all make a good effort to eat more vegetarian foods and less meat.

I used to like traditional shepherds pie.  A long, long time ago.  Truth is, I don’t like it at all any more.  But, this shepherds pie is nothing like the original.  Try it and I’m sure you’ll agree.  It’s pretty delicious!



4 – 5 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (8 cups)

3 medium-size carrots, peeled and sliced

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 cup onion, peeled and chopped

2 – 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 green pepper, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

4 cups chickpeas, pre-cooked (or two 19 oz. cans, rinsed well)

1 tsp. turmeric

2 tsp. sea saltVeg Shepherds Pie pic

1 tbsp. butter

1/3 cup plain yogurt

1 tbsp. maple syrup

4 cups cauliflower, chopped

1 tbsp. thyme

Boil or steam sweet potatoes and carrots for 20 – 30 minutes or until soft. Set aside.

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil for five minutes on medium heat. Add green and red peppers, chickpeas, turmeric and salt. Cook for another five minutes.

Mash sweet potatoes and carrots, adding butter, yogurt and maple syrup.

Spread the chickpea mixture into a 9 X 12 inch pan. Top with a layer of cauliflower, and then the sweet potato and carrot mash.

Sprinkle with thyme, cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.




Deal of the Month!



computerHave you ever googled health or nutrition information only to be overwhelmed by an onslaught of confusing and contradicting information?  Everyone has an opinion and sometimes it seems like everyone wants to share it, not always with the best of intentions.  Sometimes people mean well, but they simply don’t know.  They’ve been misinformed, or something worked for them and they want to share their personal experience.  The problem with that is we are not all created equal.  Every one of us is biochemically unique and will have different needs.  There is no one-size-fits-all approach to pregnancy or nutrition.  When I work with a client, I take the time needed to get to know her and base my recommendations on her specific needs.  In my online forum, I answer all questions relating to health and prenatal nutrition based on my own knowledge of holistic nutrition and ongoing personal research.


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