The Love Secret

For years I heard about personality tests and quizzes that would help to “figure out” who you really were.  I mean since I was a teenager I remember begging my Mom to get me the newest magazine near the check out at the grocery store.  I think over the years I pretty much took every quiz/test (and read every one of my horoscopes) trying to “figure out” who I was and how I worked.

who are you

I will be honest and say I have no clue who introduced me to this “secret” love assessment, but I remember immediately thinking WOW!  Like for all these years I was trying to parent a certain way and maintain a marriage based on what I “thought” were the right things to do.  I swear this was like a BIG wake up call and an instant sign of relief!!

The 5 Love Languages are an “assessment” created by Gary Chapman, a marriage counselor and director of marriage seminars, that really dives into what makes others tick, how they think, what they want and how YOU can be aware of that to improve your relationship with that person.  On the flip side it is GREAT because you get to not only figure out “who” these other people really are/want/need, but you also get to do the same for yourself.

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I really loved seeing what I was like and I have to say that it was spot on to how I viewed myself and my relationships.  My mind was blown when I saw how accurate it was not only for me, but especially for my son.  I can truly say that it has improved my marriage, my parenting and also my relationships with others.  I now tell everyone I can about it – including my sons teachers.  What better way to “help” children as best as you can than by knowing how they really are?!  I can only imagine that it would be an asset in the classroom since each child is unique and “needs” different attention, love and has varied interests.

ll collage website

Gary Chapman has a variety of books around this concept – marriage, children (both younger and teenagers), singles, military, a gift edition, one specifically for men and so on.  I highly recommend picking up a copy based on your interest, but until then feel free to check out the 5 Love Languages chart (for couples) that I have included here for an idea of how each is broken down:

love language chart

To go along with this awesome chart there are also specific quizzes that you are able to take to get the basics on “who” you are and “what” the other people in your life are like.  Unlike all those tests in the magazines I feel like these actually helped me understand myself better and how to best create the relationships around me.

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I could go on and on about this LOVE secret, but I think it is great to explore on your own.  I recommend taking the time to check out Gary’s book, but also to explore his site.  It is filled with amazing resources and I truly think that you will be opened to the idea that your relationships CAN improve.  Even if you are blessed with amazing ones already, there is nothing wrong with improving things and always striving to be better.

If you end up taking any quizzes, reading a book or browsing through the resources please let me know.  I would love to chat more with you about your thoughts, reactions and plans to enhance all the relationships you have.

Happy Learning!

Jen :)

 

 

Self Love Challenge

What if you devoted this year to loving yourself more?

I am one of the biggest preachers on putting yourself 1st because I know what it looks like to put yourself last. I truly believe that you cannot pour from an empty cup and by making yourself a priority your life will actually become better balanced, more simplified and less stressful.

not selfish

Since I am SO passionate about helping others see this too I have decided to run a FREE Self Love Challenge for the month of February! It is going to take place in an amazing private group and will be focused on self reflection, digging deep to find out who you really are and reminding yourself that it is NOT selfish to make your happiness a priority.

If this is something that interests you (I think we can ALL love ourselves MORE) we would LOVE to have you join us. Just click here https://www.facebook.com/groups/342764716104698/ and I will approve your request. Friends and family are welcome so feel free to add others as well. Hope to see you there! :)

self love challenge for website

Link to private group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/342764716104698/

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball

How I Changed My Life In 30 Days

This holiday season I did something different and it worked! Instead of binging on sweets, treats and all the food that is around I put all my effort into something else. I got up and for 30 days in a row I pressed play, drank my shake and used a set nutrition plan that was super easy to follow. Everything was laid out for me, I used zero equipment and never had to leave my house once or spend hours in the gym.

I did not do it for the before and afters, but instead for the inside. I am in love with my physical changes, but mentally I have done a complete 180. From sitting on my couch like a zombie most days to getting up with energy and being productive the impact I have seen is priceless. By making myself a priority I have lowered my anxiety, lessened my depression, improved my marriage, become a better parent, learned to focus on what matters the most and gained incredible self confidence.

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After hardly moving my body the entire year to working out every single day for 30 days in a row I am proof that you can change at ANY time. I have been working on healing my body from adrenal, hormone, blood sugar, inflammation and parasite issues and still was able to achieve these results. This program empowered me to FIGHT for my life and find myself again.

Tomorrow I am starting a NEW accountability group that is going to get us through Christmas and into 2017 where we will focus on doing our BEST! I am the biggest preacher of progress OVER perfect and that is exactly what we will be striving for. This group is going to be FREE so if you are interested email me at teamempowercoaching@gmail.com and I will add you. It will be a friendly, supportive environment so if you would like any of your friends or family to join they are more than welcome.

Think about the transformation that YOU could have in just 30 days and beyond! You ARE worth it and I promise that you will NOT regret the choice of making yourself a priority!  :)

P.S.  If you want to hear more about my journey and what I battled through feel free to check out the video below. I share a bit of my heart and get kind of emotional, but it really shows what this process can take you through!

 

Christmas Ideas For Children

Here is the guideline I am using this year for my sons Christmas gifts and I already feel more at ease and less stressed. Every year he gets more and more “stuff” and most of it just ends up sitting around the house never to be touched again. I am excited for him to open his presents this year and for us as a family to be more involved in what he receives. I think it is going to be great to have some special moments to share with him and less clutter in our home.
christmas-shopping-for-children
Some ideas that I have planned are as follows: Dave & Buster’s gift card, movie gift card, marbles, year membership to a fossil dig place, books, gift certificate for 2 ninja warrior classes, clay pottery maker, wooden letters of his name to paint, Dino-opoly, other wooden Christmas items from Michaels to decorate and an envelope filled with coupons for things he can pick (stay up 1/2 hour past bedtime, movie/popcorn night, extra 10 minutes on iPad, dinner of choice, outing with Mom/Dad, etc).

I love the idea of filling his stocking full of memories and providing gifts that are meaningful to him because I truly believe that as he gets older that is what he will remember anyway. Anyone else do something similar to this? If so, any ideas you can share?

 

12 Days Of Kindness

Over the years I have become more giving, more open with my heart and have taken a passion to help in any way I can.  I always thought I had to be “rich” or needed all this $$ to really make an impact, but I have found that not to be true.  Honestly the BEST thing you can give is time, love and caring.

I do provide monetarily when I am able to, but I have become really focused on just doing GOOD in all areas of life wherever and whenever I can.  It is also something that I (my husband included) am trying to teach my 8 year old son about.  I believe that my (our) actions make such a big impact on his future.  What he sees Mom (and Dad) do he is more likely to do.  I don’t give or help to brag or boast, but to spread joy and leave a little bit of love everywhere I go.

Once a week I take my son for breakfast before school and we make it a point to pay for the persons order behind us.  Almost every time the store workers says – “The total is $____._, is that okay?”  I answer the same way each time – “Yes, of course!”  It has become so routine that my son usually does not even say anything about it anymore except today when the guy we paid for happen to pull up to a light next to us and raised his hand to thank us.  My son asked why he did that so I explained that I paid for his order.  No words came out of my sons mouth, but I quickly turned around and saw a little smirk.  Again…he is watching.

I see calendars for acts of kindness and others things all over Pinterest (my fav obsession) so I wanted to make a twist on those and bring in some of my own ideas.  With the holiday hustle and bustle it is really easy to forget the true reason of the season and to take care of ourselves and others.  Here is what I came up with for the 12 days BEFORE Christmas that can actually be done at anytime throughout the year that you would like.  You can cross them off in any order and do multiple ones in a day if that works better for you.  The date is NOT important – the ACTION is!

12-days-of-kindness

If you want to join in the kindness movement with me or have a story to share of your own on how you are intentional about blessing the lives around you comment below.  I am all about positivity and spreading the love!!

Debt Is Dumb – CA$H is KING

Today I went to the mall and had a FULL circle moment. At every register they asked me #1 if I had a coupon and #2 if I wanted to sign up for a credit card. My answer to #1 – “NO I throw them all out now” – brought about a few confused faces until I answered question #2 – “NO thank you. I am deleting debt right now and recently paid off this store credit card.” I continued to tell them that I used to be addicted to shopping and actually had 13 store credit cards at one time. I then received some even BIGGER confused faces.

As I spoke to them about the path my husband and I are currently on to ADD freedom and REMOVE stress in our life they started asking more questions. I even had some people in line behind me jumping in on the conversation and wanting to know more. When I told them that those 13 credit cards (and more) were now cut up and over $22,00 (just from me) was paid off since February their eyes lit up. The one worker thanked me like 5 times before I left just for giving her some tips, advice and HOPE that she too could STOP the vicious spending cycle and START saving her finances.

I kind of got emotional as I walked out of Macys (after Target that was were I would spend the most) thinking of ALL the times I would go on binges in hopes that some retail therapy would HELP me. Honestly shopping only brought me a temporary high (like most addictions) and it never fully satisfied me therefore causing me to ALWAYS go back for more. Well until there was NO more room left on my cards because I had MAXED them all out.

When I say that I used to pay my bills and then charge them right back up (sometimes even going over the limit on the ones that would let me) that is the TRUTH! It was a vicious cycle for MANY years as I lived paycheck to paycheck and never thought anything was wrong with it. I thought it was okay because I was getting discounts, sales, temporary satisfaction and filling up my closets.

The items listed below may seem silly to some, but for our family they mean the WORLD. Instead of figuring out which card had enough room to fit a trip, gas, groceries, health visits or family fun on it we don’t even STRESS over that anymore. Credit is NOT an option so if the cash is not available then we don’t go or do it. We actually pick and choose what we do now instead of feeling like we have to do it ALL. We still have lots of FUN, get creative with FREE things and ensure that when money is spent it goes out wisely.

debt is dumb cash is king 1

When we finally had enough we decided that was IT!!! We were SICK of the back and forth and were ready for a CHANGE!! We started out scared and kind of unsure this could be a reality, but now we are CONFIDENT and FOCUSED to see the light at the end of the tunnel no matter how long it takes us to get there.

For those of you who may feel STUCK – I get it – we were there too!! All it takes is a choice to say “NO MORE” and to be dedicated to do what it takes. The sacrifices ARE worth it. Your peace of mind IS worth it. Your future finances ARE worth it. BELIEVE and you will ACHIEVE!!

Deleting Debt – One Card At A Time

My heart is racing SO fast right now and I have to jump on and lead a Team call in a second. Today I did TWO scary, but VERY important things. The one I am not ready to talk about yet, but the other one I am sharing.

I post this NOT to brag, but to give others HOPE that they can too start to see the light. In February my husband and I decided enough was enough. We cut up some credit cards and put on our faces of determination. Since that moment we have been laser focused to STOP the useless spending and START the much needed freedom that we knew we wanted. See video here:

Since that time my husband has paid off over $9,000 and I have paid off $18,000 in debt. Today I got to add to that #. Today I did something that I have dreamed about since February and I am literally shaking typing this.

With ONE weeks paycheck I was able to pay off my USAA credit card in FULL. Like NO more $100 monthly payments that seemed like they would never end. This baby is DONE.

usaa paid in full

This was really hard for me to share because I don’t want people to take it the wrong way. I am putting this out there for those who felt like I did – STUCK, living paycheck to paycheck and down in a hole. I want you to know you CAN get out of that hole and CAN do something different. Change IS possible, but you have to believe. I believe in YOU and am here to HELP support you in any way.

This was one BIG goal checked off. Now onto the next credit card – $12,000 staring me in the face.

Packing Your Own Food While Traveling

If you follow me at all you know I am very dedicated to the quality of my food.  I eat almost all organic, non-gmo and count ingredients.  To me it is more important WHAT is in our food than to count the calories it contains.

counting chemicals

Through my health journey I have paid more attention to how food impacts my body.  Because of that I really try my best to always be prepared no matter where we go.  I have become a pro at prepping, packing and traveling with my own meals.  It is actually exciting to me, kind of like a challenge, to figure out what I am going to bring.

Food-is-fuel

THIS saves me time, money, frustration AND most importantly my health.  I don’t have to FEEL like crap from eating crap.  Sure I might have random things here or there, but I have learned that going overboard is just not worth it.  My body reacts and it is no fun to feel sick, tired and be bloated.

I have to say that others have teased me about always having a bag, cooler or food in my purse when out and about BUT then they end up thanking me.  I am the girl who always has a stash of food somewhere to share and others seem to like that.  I remember my husband looking at me like I was nuts the 1st time I packed all my own food until we were in the hotel and he was hungry.  He smiled as I handed him a wrap and had a bunch of snacks.  He was happy he did not have to walk to find food and spend money on less than quality options.  It may seem crazy at 1st, but I promise it will make your life a whole lot easier.

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For this particular trip we are actually driving so it makes it a bit easier with no size or item restrictions.  When flying you can still bring your own food, but be sure your cooler/bag is within carry on guidelines and that your ice packs used are not gel, but ones that can be frozen solid.  Another flying trip which is obvious, but still needs to be said…no liquids!

The items that need to be kept cold go in the cooler (do you love my new anchor cooler?) and the ones that are okay at room temp get packed right into the bag.  For the cooler we have about 6 ice packs that get scattered throughout and always have the option to put ice cubes in a big ziploc (doubled) bag.  You would be surprised how nice everything stays. Sometimes the ice packs are still frozen when we get to our destination.

food for nashville

Pictured here:  Meatballs, roasted red potatoes, cucumbers, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, salad with balsamic vin. on side, sugar snap peas, Shakeology, clementines, almond butter, bananas, Lara bars, olives, mini eggs cups, sausage, nuts and the others things are for my husband!

I am just finishing up my 1st round of Whole 30 so some of the items are different than I would of packed in the past, but I was very happy with all the options I had.  I was already gluten and dairy free so I just had to switch some things up (no popcorn, wraps, chips, etc – those pictured are for my husband) to be sure to stay Whole 30 compliant on this trip.  I finish the day we are actually traveling, but plan to stick to the same guidelines and adding back in my favorite meal of the day – Shakeology!

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My hubby was a GREAT help prepping some of the food for me.  He cut the carrots, potatoes and made the meatballs!

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Here is a close up of some of the food we made – roasted potatoes, mini egg cups and meatballs.

The best way to start is to think about what you currently eat.  Almost anything is able to be packed, even if you have to make some tweaks in a recipe.  Make a list and you will see that you CAN travel with some of your fav foods.

if you enver try

The amount of time it takes you to prep your food items all depends on what you plan to make and how much you plan to take.  Cutting veggies, bagging snacks and gathering grab and go food is pretty quick.  When you turn the oven on and start actually cooking your time will be spread out.  I try my best to do a few things at once.  When I have something in the stove, I am chopping veggies or bagging snacks.  The picture above (for 6 days of travel) took about 2 hours, but that included some breaks.  It can be done faster than that for sure.  I am a big multi-tasker so I am kind of all over the place doing a bunch of things at once.

Here are some Meal Prep and Planning Tips to help with your organization and time management:

At the end of the day, it is up to YOU to prepare and plan.  Give yourself some credit and get creative!  I bet you will surprise yourself with all you can pack up for a road trip – whether short or long.

Heres to feeling GOOD while being away from home!  Happy traveling!

Jen :)

My Only Regret With The Whole 30 Program

 

change your life in 30 days

I am 16 days….

* Sugar FREE
* Dairy FREE
* Grain FREE
* Legume FREE
* Alcohol FREE

whole 30 basic guidelines

Results…..

* LESS bloat
* MORE energy
* LESS mood swings (loving this)
* MORE alert
* LESS pain (main reason I did this)

most people have no idea

And the BEST part……ZERO cravings!!! This sweet addict, popcorn binger, protein bar obsesser is HAPPY with that!!

My only regret….

That I waited SO long to do this. I have HOPE and am really seeing the light with this program. All I want is to feel BETTER and it is working.

To join our private group please request access here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/553883134751109/

It Starts With Food

IT STARTS WITH FOOD!

I know that, but I need a little bit more help. I have wanted to read this book for almost a year and I am finally ready to commit to learning more about the way I fuel my body.

it starts with food

I eat pretty well most of the time, but I am sure I can change some simple things to improve the quality of what I am consuming.  I know there is added sugar and other things in most products out there and although I don’t have it that often, it can’t hurt to fine tune my nutrition.

I have heard how amazing others feel after incorporating the knowledge they gain from this book and I am ready to experience that. Added bonus is that people report LESS cravings!! I am hoping for that with my sweet addiction that is a forever struggle.

I am reaching out for HELP from others who are curious like me. This book has been talked about SO much that I have to see what the hype is about.

whole 30

It Starts With Food reveals how specific foods may be having negative effects on how you look, feel, and live—in ways that you’d never associate with your diet. You will learn a lifelong strategy for eating good food in one clear and detailed action plan designed to help you create a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, calm systemic inflammation, and put an end to unhealthy cravings, habits, and relationships with food. Together we will be gain knowledge on how food impacts all we do. Our goal is to be the healthy from the inside out!

Starting June 1st I am going to embark on this new part of my journey and I would LOVE  for others to join me. We will have a private group right on Facebook for support, recipes  and inspiration. The only thing you will NEED is this book and an open mind.

If this is something that intrigues you please come join our FREE group.  You can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/553883134751109/

Cheers to feeling BETTER and making it a priority to treat your one and only body the BEST you can!