More Talk, Less Type

I know what you’re going to say. “Isn’t it ironic that you’re trying to discuss this issue through a blog post?” The answer is yes and no. Yes, because it’s contradictory, I agree. But, no because I believe this is a great way to get my point across. I may be a part of the “typing team”, but I’m not stupid. I see the effects communication, or lack thereof, is having on our society and if I could get you all in a room and speak about it, I definitely would try. The reality is, this is the way of our world right now.

I love how technologically advanced we are, I really do. I think there are so many positive effects from what the world wide web has done for us as a whole. There are times when I look back and can’t remember my life without a computer. But, it wasn’t until my teenage years that we had one in our house. At first it was something fun to play around with, a new toy in the house. Now households have 2-3 computers, Ipads, Iphones, Blackberrys, the list goes on and on. If the power goes out for a few hours, panic ensues. This addiction is only getting worse, the younger we are. My almost 4 year old niece knew how to navigate thru an Ipad before I did. She literally taught me how to do it. That blows my mind. I know she has the brightest future ahead: she is smart, so advanced and absorbs information like a human sponge. But, will all of this technology hurt or help her. What is going to happen to our future generations?

I’ve seen it first starting with my age group. We have slowly, but surely, forgot how to speak to one another. Good old fashioned conversations are rare, and it takes some filtering to find those who still will pick up the phone and call. Don’t even get me started on the dating world. It’s so bad I have the towel in hand, ready to throw. I can’t tell you how many full blown conversations I’ve had through text messaging, email and Facebook. I know I’m as guilty as everyone else, but I am trying to change this habit, too. I think it’s beneficial to let others know what’s important to you. I sometimes just wish there was a way to get it back to how it used to be. Real live human to human contact. Minus the carpal tunnel.

There are many negative habits that form from all this text and no talk. People start to hide behind their devices, they become more shy and can’t break out of their shell, their social skills are tremendously lacking, and miscommunications happen more often because there is no ability to silently understand what the other is trying to say. We can’t hear tone of voice, read their body language or sense how the other person is feeling through a message. It’s literally a communication cop out.

If you really are concerned, or have young kids at home, I suggest taking the time to read this article from the NY Times. It’s very interesting and discusses the toll texting may be taking on our teenagers. –New York Times

Can you believe that, on average, teenagers are sending 2, 272 texts per month? That’s about 80 messages per day! It’s crazy, and scary, if you stop and think about it. The consequences range from sore thumbs, to interrupted sleep, to even death (because of texting and driving).

I’m not saying this will all change overnight, and don’t get me wrong I do like the convenience of email, text, and having everything right at my fingertips. But, I think we can all benefit from more face to face interaction in our lives- don’t you? I know I can. A great place to start is with food! Meals bring people together, gathered around a table and yes- they talk. They discuss their day, laugh at funny moments that have happened and really interact. It’s a beautiful thing. All because of food. How about you make this delicious recipe below, grab a bottle of red and get your family gathered around the table? You could even invite your friends over for a weeknight date, or romance your spouse one night after work. All devices silenced, please 🙂

It’s Spicy Mango Shrimp and it’s delicious, believe me.

You will need:

1lb Snow Peas

3 Tbs Canola Oil

1 Tbs Ginger, grated

1 bunch Scallions (white and green thinly sliced, with leftovers for garnish)

1lb Shrimp

1Tbs Hot Sauce

2 Ripe Mangoes, peeled and sliced lengthwise

1c Veggie Stock (I use low sodium)

1 Tbs Rice Vinegar (lemon juice is an OK sub)

Salt and Pepper

Blanch the peas in boiling water until bright green, about 1 minute. Drain and place in ice bath to stop the cooking process. Heat the canola oil in a wok or large saucepan. When the oil is hot add the ginger and scallions (all but remaining for garnish). Season with salt, pepper, and add the shrimp to the pan. Cook thoroughly, about 2 minutes. Add the hot sauce, mangoes and snow peas. Allow to come together, about 1 minute. Add the vinegar, transfer to a platter and garnish with the reserved scallion. Serve over brown rice (which is what I did), whole wheat pasta, or your grain of choice.


Happy Heart to Hearts ❤

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To Juice or Not To Juice?

That is the Question.

Juicing has become a worldwide phenomenon. Not a day goes by where you don’t see something posted on the internet, in a magazine, or on the news about the benefits of liquefying your fruits and vegetables. But, have you ever wondered if it’s really good for you?

I decided to do a little research and find out for myself.

For starters, let’s discuss why juice has got a bad reputation. Some say it strips away all the fiber, causes diarrhea, makes you more hungry (since it eliminates the body’s need to “work” for digestion) and causes your blood sugar to go crazy. This all could be true for some. So the question is: Is Juicing Right for YOU?

As somewhat of a newbie to the concept myself, I’d like to talk about the pros now, so we see it from all angles. Why would someone want to juice their meals, what’s the fun in that? (I happen to be a lover of eating, chewing and the entire meal experience). However, here are some reasons why juicing is beneficial to our health:

-It’s detoxifying- Helps to slow, and even reverse the aging process -Reduces inflammation -Cleanses the body – Regulates the bowels – Can help you lose or maintain your weight – Balances your pH- Hydrates the skin- Prevents diseases & – Quickly shoots your system up with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and oxygen.

Sounds like a good time to me!

Mostly every doctor or health care professional out there says that we must consume at least 6-8 servings of vegetables a day in order to reap the benefits. But how many of us are actually doing that? Juicing your veggies and fruits can be an easy, convenient way to make sure you are getting in all daily requirements. It also helps you experiment with veggies you might not be open to trying and incorporate a heck of a lot more greens into your life (lord knows the only green we think of as Americans now is $$$).

But, there’s a catch. Pre-packaged, store-bought juices don’t count. Their nutrients barely exist and lack any life force whatsoever. Many are loaded with sugar, artificial flavors and preservatives. You must invest in a juicer, hop on into your kitchen and get your hands messy. Start experimenting with all different types of vegetables, but try to take it easy with fruit. Blood sugar spikes are known to happen for those who prefer fruit juices over veggies. A good rule of thumb is for every 3 veggies, add 1 piece of fruit. Here are some interesting ingredients you can experiment with:

Cucumber, Kale, Romaine, Celery, Spinach, Collard Greens, Fennel, Carrot, Bell Pepper and Watercress

Try adding in Apple, Pear, Beet, Ginger, Garlic, Lemon or other Citrus fruits for sweetness

If you are feeling inspired to try this new method of eating please take a look at the video below. It’s from one of my favorite fellow graduates here at IIN. I follow and appreciate all Elizabeth Rider does with her Whole Living Blog. She covers the entire topic in just a few minutes. Perfect!

“The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Juicing”

Even though I am new to incorporating juices into my life, I feel motivated and ready to start. I don’t plan on cleansing for days at a time or detoxing forever, but I will be including green juices into my diet. I don’t believe in extremes, but I do believe it’s healthy and good to try something new. Not only for our bodies, but our minds too.

They do say, “If life gives you lemons, grab your kale, cukes, an apple and make yourself a delicious juice.”

That is how it goes, right? 🙂

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Top 5 Reasons Health Doesn’t Happen

I’ve heard it all before. “I’m just too tired.” “The kids come first.” I’m really not good at that.” “I don’t know how to even start.”

Everyone can come up with excuses. Sometimes we may find ourselves doing it, without even realizing. We’ve all become masters of ditching things in our lives that don’t jive well or seem too difficult. Do you find yourself doing this when it comes to your health?

Here are the top 5 reasons why, I think, people stop following through when it comes to their own personal goals:

1- There’s Not Enough Time– This could be true when you’re Facebooking 3 hours a day, taking 2 Starbucks runs, going to the movies instead of the food store, partaking in happy hour after work, etc. It’s all about prioritizing. What’s really important to you at this time in your life?

2- Failing to Plan– Is planning to fail. You must come up with a set routine and write down your goals. Make them realistic and find the proper kind of support you need to succeed. It really is the only way.

3- Lack of Motivation– Just because you have 1 bad meal or skip the gym for a few days does not give you the right to throw the towel in. We’re running a marathon here, not a sprint. Lifestyle changes take time and the only thing worse than a few cheat meals or a week off from exercise is giving up. Just don’t do it!

4- Deprivation– A huge no, no. You need to eat. Seriously. I’m talking hearty, delicious meals. At least 3 times a day. Depriving your body of food only leads to bingeing. Believe me, I know from experience. The weight will come off when your body realizes you are going to fuel it like the machine it is. Lean and Mean.

5- Too expensive– I hear this a lot and it’s like nails on a chalkboard. This is a myth and it’s just all about perception. Of course a 300 calorie donut is going to be cheaper than a 100 calorie banana, but what will keep you fuller, longer? If you look at the grand scheme of things, choosing healthy foods will not only save you money (think doctor’s bills, prescriptions you won’t have to fill, less sick days, the list goes on…) But, isn’t looking good, feeling great and living the good life, priceless? I think it’s worth it. You’re worth it.

Let’s talk about simple ways to make this sabotaging habit a thing of the past. You always want to start small and grow from there. Only decide to make changes that you know will last. Find solutions for the main triggers you have that hold you back each and every time from stepping outside of the comfort zone and moving forward.

Remember, ” If you are facing the right direction, all you have to do is keep on going.” The key is to go slow, believe in yourself and just stick to it, no matter what. It may not be the easiest thing you’ll ever do, but it will definitely be worth it. Hopefully, you feel inspired to persevere! Now, let’s make moves and head on into the kitchen…

Below is a super easy, weeknight recipe that will keep you slim, sexy and sticking to the plan.

Veggie Stuffed Peppers

6 Bell Peppers (I like Yellow & Orange)

1 Zucchini, chopped

1 Carrot, chopped

1 Celery stalk, chopped

1 white Onion, chopped

1c Broccoli, chopped

2 Garlic cloves, pressed

1 can Diced Tomatoes, with juice

1 can Tomato sauce, no salt added

1 tbs EVOO

Fresh Basil & Oregano

Celtic Sea Salt & Black Pepper 

1c long grain Brown Rice, soaked and cooked according to package 

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil in the pan. Add onions and garlic. Stir until softened.

Step 2: Add the rest of the chopped vegetables, can of diced tomatoes and brown rice.

Step 3: Pour the can of tomato sauce over the mixture and stir until well combined.

Step 4: Add basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook on low for about 10-15 more minutes and remove from heat.

Step 5: Cut the tops from the peppers, remove stems, seeds and membrane inside. Rinse out the inside and pat dry.

Step 6: Place peppers in a large dish and bake for 15 minutes.

Step 7: Remove peppers from oven and scoop mixture into each one until filled to the top

Step 8: Put back in oven for another 15 minutes, or until the peppers have cooked thru.

I made this for a client recently and they absolutely loved it. I encourage you to give it a try and tell me what you think. All the vegetables are interchangeable and you can really make this recipe your own. It’s hard to mess up a good stuffed pepper!

P.S. Who doesn’t like to end their day with a sweet treat? I had to include Black Bean Brownies in the mix. So easy, yummy and chocolatey. My favorite. Mmmm.

In all honesty, pizza, chinese, and curb side Applebee runs should all be a thing of the past. I think a meal like this is better than going out or ordering in. Don’t you? Give it a try and see for yourself.

Happy Cooking!

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Break the Fast: Wake Up and Eat

It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Do you think this is true? Read on to find out.

First, let’s take a look at a typical morning for you: You wake up, quickly shower, hop in the car, rush to work and the first thing you reach for is a large cup of coffee. You feel great for about an hour, and then realize you are crashing, hard. The coffee cup gets filled again and by 10:30, you are about ready to eat your arm off. Lunch isn’t for at least an hour and a half so you head back to the break room, fill up that cup one more time and fixate your eyes on the dozen Dunkin’ donuts that happen to be open on the table. You think in your head…”Who had the nerve to bring these today? It’s Monday and everyone’s diet is starting!” Anger fills your rumbling tummy, but he urge inside of you is much stronger. You manage to house not only one chocolate covered, but a glazed too, in about a minute flat. You guiltily grab your cup, head back to your desk and wait for the crash to hit again. Another frustrating day that will just roll over to every other meal this week….

Does this sound familiar? If you are a coffee-and-donut-kind-of-morning person, then this post is for you. I promise you there is a better way to start your day- and it’s called breakfast, which literally means- breaking the fast. There are many important reasons why you should take the extra few minutes out of your busy morning to put together a lean mean whole grain, fiber and protein machine (See my recipe below)

In all honesty, skipping breakfast robs your body of many health benefits including: the ability to focus, preventing heart disease, lowering blood pressure, boosting your metabolism, avoiding fat storage and weight gain, stabilizing your energy levels and ultimately, living longer. Plus, who doesn’t want to be less irritable, tired and restless anymore?

I have always been a big breakfast fan, and I used to love sugary cereals, raspberry danish twist, bagels, waffles, bacon, taylor ham. You name it. One of my favorite things to do now is transform “comfort foods” into a healthier version. The end result actually makes me feel good and gives my body the energy it needs to take on the day.

The recipe below is, and has been, one of my morning staples for a long time. It’s called Protein “Pancake.”

It’s super fast, delicious and satiating (I promise you will not need a snack for 4 hours!)


You will need:

6 Egg Whites

1/2 c Quick Old Fashioned Oats

1 Tsp Cinnamon

Fill measuring cup with egg whites, oats and cinnamon. Scramble with a fork until well combined.

Pour mixture into a non stick pan. Let cook for a few minutes, lifting the sides and allowing the liquid to drain. When ready, flip over to the other side and repeat. If one big pancake is too much for you, divide mixture and make “silver dollars”. This is also an excellent way to get kids to eat it. I know, because it worked for my niece 🙂

You can eat it plain, mix in protein powder for an extra boost, top with fresh fruit, nut butters, applesauce or even maple syrup. It’s delicious, so filling and you won’t even miss the real thing. Doesn’t this make you want to wake up tomorrow and eat breakfast?

Let me know what you think or how you alter the recipe to make it your own.


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Stop the Self-Destruction

Alcohol. Drugs. Sex. Gambling. Food. Cutting. Stealing. Exercise. Spending. 


How can you teach the death within you that you really want to live?

Webster’s definition is as follows:  to devote or surrender oneself to something habitually or obsessively.

Are you suffering?

I think the better question is, who’s not suffering? Even if you’re not the one with the addiction, I think we are all affected by this disease somehow. Knowing someone or watching someone self-destruct is potentially even worse than being the one with the problem. Lately, I have had more exposure to this type of disease both in my own family and circle of friends.

Who’s at risk?

The scary truth is, everyone. Some factors can include family history, depression or other mental disorders, abuse, neglect and childhood trauma. But, addiction knows no boundaries. It’s becoming more prevalent because of the nature of our society. We can’t go anywhere fast enough, always have to stay connected and constantly compare to those around us. Our expectations for many aspects of what life should be are unrealistic and completely unattainable. It’s a set up for feelings of failure, which leads to numbing. Life is painful, and masking those feelings with food, drugs, sex, etc. is only a short term fix. Problems are still problems tomorrow if you choose to numb them today. Not feeling is no replacement for reality.

It’s time to wake up.

With addiction comes choices. We make them every single day. Most are minor, but some can change our world in just one moment. Life becomes stressful, the more decisions we have to make and the more time presses on. Responsibilities increase and so does the pressure. For some individuals, daily inner battles lead to destructive habits and coping mechanisms. You may find yourself dealing with issues and negative emotions in an unhealthy way. Problems arise at work, with relationships, at school or home and you choose to abuse. You may feel ashamed, isolated and helpless. The key is to persevere through those tough times and figure out a way to seek help. Confide in a friend, co-worker or someone you can trust to do the right thing. As hard as it may be to believe, this battle doesn’t have to be fought alone. There is help and hope, you just have to be strong enough to ask for and accept it. The right kind of support will lead you to the light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s time to break the chain.

Are you ready?

The bottom line is, you can’t change your genes, family and social environment, so you must find another way to control the demons inside. You must first decide that you really want to overcome, and then do whatever it takes. You have to declare yourself powerless to the disease, regardless of severity. Only after can true recovery start. No more lying, sneaking, and hurting those around you. You don’t need to hit “rock bottom”, you’re not lacking willpower, you just can’t do it on your own and you’re certainly not weak for admitting there’s a problem in the first place.

I am not an addiction specialist by any stretch of the imagination, but I have known and seen it with my own eyes. What I do know is that if you, or someone you love is suffering, make them realize that their life and health are worth it. There is always a dawn, even after the darkest of nights.

I believe it was perfectly stated in ‘Eat Pray Love’ when Elizabeth says,

“Someday you’re gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing…”

For more information and online support please check out:

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Efforts that Energize


Morning coffee. Sugar fix. 3 o’clock crash. Red Bull. Mid-day siesta. A little candy pick me up. Too tired to exercise. Just…one…more…cup…of…coffee…

Have you ever had a time in your life where you can relate to this cycle of events?

In the past, every day for me consisted of waking up and hoping for more energy. I just couldn’t understand why I felt tired, sluggish and lethargic- majority of the time. I now know the secrets to maximizing your potential and I promise you it doesn’t take much. It’s absolutely amazing what small changes can do. I feel like I am now the master of my own energy and I support others to become the same.

So, what can you do?

Food is always first, but it’s not primary. We will discuss that soon. For now, take a look at what you are consuming each day. A great way to get honest in this department is to journal for a few weeks. Write down what you’re eating, where you’re eating it, how hungry you are at the time and what you are feeling in the moment. I encourage you to be completely truthful with yourself and reflect on what is going on around meal times. Journaling is a therapeutic tool that will allow you to hold yourself accountable, understand your triggers and work towards making positive changes. 9 times out of 10 we are repeating things daily out of mere habit, not true hunger or thirst. Try to cut back on substances such as caffeine, sugar, alcohol, dairy, tobacco and meat. Incorporating more fruits, vegetables, grains and water into your life will make a big difference. Are you contributing or stripping your body of energy and vitality? What we eat is ultimately, what we are.

In addition, having a circle of support or an accountability partner will make a huge difference in your journey. Health Coaches work great, too. Make sure to tell those around you of your efforts to change and become healthier- not only will this make your life easier, but you never know who you will inspire in the process!

Up next, primary foods. This is one of my favorite subjects to explore with my clients. We know what to do to feed our body, but how are we nourishing our soul? Factors include: exercise, spirituality, relationships and our career. No matter how clean our plates may be, skipping the gym, feeling disconnected, hibernating from loved ones and being unhappy at work will not make us healthy overall. Finding a balance between secondary and primary foods is an absolute must and I strongly encourage you to find your strengths/weaknesses in this aspect of your life. One of my favorite quotes is: “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”

I will now share with you one of my very own Eating for Energy recipes. It’s simple, delicious and extremely portable. I also used mostly local and organic ingredients (this time of year is great to support your town’s farmer’s market). Try to remember this snack for upcoming bbq’s, parties and events. I promise the guests will love you!

Raw Cabbage Wraps (with a Bean Beet Spread)

You will need:

8 Green Cabbage leaves (I’ve also used Collards)

1 Cucumber, sliced thin

2 ripe Avocados, sliced

2 Tomatoes, sliced thin

Raw Sunflower Seeds

For the Spread:

1 can Organic Chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 Medium Beets, raw, de-stemmed, washed, peeled and diced

1/2c Carrots

Juice from 1 Lemon

1 Garlic clove

2-3 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pinch of Sea Salt and Black Pepper

In a food processor, pulse the carrots until finely chopped. Add chickpeas, beets, lemon, garlic, oil, salt and pepper and mix until a paste is made. (I am in love with the color!)

Next, fill a large bowl with warm water and add 1 tbs of Apple Cider Vinegar ( I use Bragg).

Trim the white stalk from the center of the leaves before soaking the cabbage for a few minutes.

Remove from bath and dry leaves completely with a paper towel.

Place leaves flat on a cutting board, rough side down. Now it’s time to fill.

Apply a good amount of spread in the center, top with avocado, tomato, cucumber and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds.

Fold in sides and tightly roll like you would a burrito. Leave wraps whole if saving for later or traveling. But make sure to cut through the center before serving. It can be a little messy but Oh-So-Good!!

Please let me know what you think or how you adapt the recipe to become your own.

Enjoy & That’s a Wrap 😉

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How It All Started (My Food Story)


I’m Angry. Sad. Rushing. Moody. Procrastinating. Unhappy. Lonely. Alone. Completely by Myself. And I’m eating. I’m eating so much and I can’t stop. I’m in my car, on the couch in front of the television, in my room by myself (shocking, I know). It’s like the dam has been demolished and the waterfall of bingeing has completely taken over my mind and body. I can’t put the cookie down. I can’t just eat one more spoonful. I must have more. I must fill the void in my soul.

This used to be the story of my life. This used to be who I was fighting not to be, every single day. I was a very young woman who could not find balance in her life. I was highly sensitive, searching and so lost. I chose to find comfort in food and it chose to take over my life. Here’s how I overcame this destructive behavior. Here’s my food story.

When I was younger, I never thought about what I was going to eat next. I sometimes ask myself when did the shift occur? When did I start obsessing about calories, fat, food, meals….why did this have to happen to me? In high school, the media crazed over being skinny and I started to realize the power of comparison. I also come from a family of disordered eating, which never helped the situation. For me it was always monkey see, monkey do. I was competitive and desperately trying to fit into the group. I felt like conforming to what all the other girls were doing was just a natural part of the process of growing up.

Truth be told, I’ve always been a “bigger” girl. I easily had 3-5 inches over all of my girlfriends and based on puberty facts, I towered over the guys that were my age at the time. Being the largest one in pictures definitely brought a huge strain of self consciousness. Although 5′ 9″ isn’t huge, I could never be small enough, was always trying to lose weight and began my journey of yo-yo dieting at a very young age.

After graduating, I did what everyone does their freshman year. I gained 20 pounds. I was scared to be away, unsure that the college atmosphere was right for me and struggled to fit in the way I did with my group of friends from home. Instead of drinking excessively, I would go out for ice cream with my roommate or stop by the local cafe for dessert. Eating became habitual. Emotions became covered in chocolate. I was venturing down a path that I wasn’t sure was reversible. College came and went and I landed my first job. It was challenging, extremely lucrative and great for me and my outgoing personality. I was excited, anxious and ready to take the bull by the horns.

I started as a full time traveling Pharmaceutical Sales representative in the summer of 2007. I was 3 weeks post graduation from college and I was scared out of my mind. But, it felt like it was the path I needed to take – it was what I worked my whole life for, right? 12 years of school and here was a perfect job. Here was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I just had to take it…

At least that’s what I thought at the time. For 8 months I lived in hotels, had to become familiar with new territories and hold my own in the real world. I was alone, yet again, and all of my triggers were going off. I would work all day, get to my hotel room at night and eat. I didn’t have any family, friends, or co-workers close by to engage in activities with. I still tried to do the things I enjoyed, but always seemed to end the day with that empty feeling inside. Being alone is a huge trigger for me and now I finally understand why.

Enter: the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, 2011. This school saved my life. The program brought me back to sanity and to the Alicia I once knew and loved so dearly. I have spent over a year exploring my own issues, not only with food, but with my life in general. I have been able to overcome emotional eating, anxiety and extreme lack of balance. I have slowed down, started breathing and have chosen to live in this beautiful moment. I make choices each day that serve me, not strip me of energy and enthusiasm. The journey of learning to truly love myself, inside and out, has been so gratifying. I’ve never been healthier, happier and more passionate about life in all 27 years of my existence.

I radically quit my pharmaceutical job last summer and will never look back. I am now a certified Holistic Health Coach, pursuing my passion and living out my dream each day. The road has been anything but easy. In fact, it’s been the hardest thing I have ever had to do. But, helping others live their best life and continue on their own journey of self-exploration brings me more joy than I will ever be able to put into words. I wake up each day with a purpose. I know what I do for others doesn’t hold a price tag because it was done for me. I’ve lived the process and it’s my obligation to share it with anyone and everyone who is ready.

I will change the world, one person at a time.

Everyone has a food story. But what it has been doesn’t have to be what it will be forever. If you are struggling to find peace, searching for strength or can’t seem to grasp a hold of your life, I encourage you to reach out. Find a friend, a group of individuals who share similar interests or take the time to get the kind of support you need. It’s never too late. Start right now.

After all, it’s only a matter of time before caterpillars become bright, beautiful butterflies…


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