the answer to that burning question.

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People often ask me how I get everything done.
I usually shrug my shoulders and say, “I just get it done.”
I think that’s how it is for most folks.
And I admit, that I don’t always get it done “right”.
I think that, too, is how it is for most folks.

But I admit.
My priorities are not the norm.
I think that’s what folks are questioning–how I prioritize.
So I’m going to talk about that today.
And to set the stage, here’s a rundown of a typical week.

I workout most days for 30 minutes.
I homeschool my 2 kiddos.
I coach folks who are getting healthy with my at home/online business.
I teach live PiYo classes.
I prepare meals for our family.
I take care of our home and farm–that means all inside and outside chores like washing dishes to mowing the grass.
I run errands and grocery shop.
I take kids to practices and games.
I attend church.
I spend time with my girlfriends.
I check in on our elderly neighbor.

This is my life.
Some of those things don’t always get done.
Sometimes we eat out.
Sometimes we run out of milk because I haven’t been to town.
Sometimes I forget to check on Ms. Becky.

And then there are things that don’t get skipped.
My “no matter whats” on that list.
The one I get asked about the most is the first one on the list.
Exercise.  Workouts.  Making time for it.

It’s a priority.
Because without it? I go nuts.
It’s the one thing that makes me feel great, even when I don’t want to do it.

What?!
Yep. You heard it here.
I don’t always want to do it.
But really, it gets done at least 5 times a week.
Because I know I will be happier if I do it.

So that said–how do I juggle all those other things and make time for exercise?
Well, I could tell you that I hire a sitter so I can go for a run.
Or that I go the YMCA and use their daycare service for my kids.
Or that I wait till my husband gets home so I can head to the gym.
Or that I do squats while I watch TV. (TV? I am supposed to watch that?)
Or that I count mowing the grass or teaching PiYO as my workout.
But that’d all be a lie (especially the running part….).

The plain and simple answer is this.
I get up early.
I get up before everyone else and I get. it. done.
I get it done for me.

My workout is the FIRST thing I do after I brush my teeth (while reading my devotional) and get dressed.
If I don’t do it first thing then it’s looming over all the other activities of the day and will most likely get put off until it doesn’t happen.

And I always do it at home.
I have two kids at home with me. all. the. time.
Going somewhere to workout ain’t gonna happen.
I need something that I know is effective and can be done from home so I have used Beachbody programs for the past 5 years.
And always ones that I enjoy. (that’s key, folks!)

Mowing the grass doesn’t count because while it’s exercise, it’s not a workout.
Teaching PiYo doesn’t count because that’s my fun.  It’s my class’s workout.
A workout for me is something that pushes me.
That feel-good-dopamine-producing-workout that makes me happy.

The happiness kicks in when I am done.
Done with a fantastic 30 minute P90X3 or Insanity Max:30 workout where I have been pushed.
Where I did push ups and pull ups and tuck jumps (all things I don’t like).
I did them.
A certain sense of accomplishment and no doubt, NO DOUBT, that I worked out.

Can you imagine how awesome that is to feel that way FIRST THING in the day?
First thing!
By 5:45 a.m. I am feeling like a freakin’ rockstar.

I got up out of my bed.
I got my devotional read.
I brushed my teeth.
I worked out.
In my book, I am a rockstar before 6 a.m.
That is powerful stuff.
A sense of accomplishment that early in the day sets me on fire for the rest of my day.
Or at least until 7 p.m. which is good enough in my book.

Now I know, I know.
There are morning people and night owls.
I get it.
(here comes the tough love)
Get over it.

So you like to stay up late?
Good for you.
My kids would like to eat Cheetos all day and stay up all night.
Good for them.
It’s not going to happen because it makes no sense for their goal in life.
The goal to be awesome.

And it’s not good for them.
It’s not good for you either.
(That’s not just my opinion, there is research to back this.)
Or to not workout.
And if you want to get more done in your day then you need to go to bed and get up earlier.

But you just can’t fall asleep?
Get some melatonin, darken that room, read a book, create a night time routine that sets you up for sleeping by 10 p.m.
Set the alarm for 5 a.m. or whenever works for you.
And get. it. done.

Pull on your big girl or boy pants and do it.
If you want it.
Do it.
How’s that for tough love?
Yikes.

But really.
That is my answer to the question of “how do you get everything done?”.
I start my day early.
I own the day.
And the next one.
And the next one after that.

You can, too.
For reals.
Try it for a week.
See how you feel.

Just don’t be surprised when after that week, you buy a shirt that says “I am a rockstar.”

own the morning

backup plan.

I got a degree in dietetics and become a registered dietitian in 2001.
I worked at WIC and had my own personal chef business for a while.
Then I had a baby and was incredibly fortunate to be able to stay home.
Really.
I know what a huge blessing that was and how important it was for me and my daughter.
To not work and stay at home with her.
But it wasn’t easy.

I struggled with some gnarly post-partum depression.
I felt trapped with a baby that wouldn’t take a bottle.  Ever.
I struggled with the fact that she wasn’t consolable after 5 p.m. and had no idea what the problem was.
I was a total control freak who insisted on doing everything but give her her bath.
I could go on, but you get the picture.

It was rough for me and not because I quit working.
I wanted to quit working.
I wanted to stay home and have kids and be a momma.
I wanted to take care of our home and make good food.
I wanted to be that blissfully happy mom I imagined I would be.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t.
Plain and simple.
I wasn’t that mom.

Fast forward to now.
I still stay home with our kids.
Two of them now.
I still take care of our home and farm and make good food.
I also teach fitness classes, homeschool both kids and started working part time from home.

Those last three things?
Not necessary.
I don’t need to work outside the home to support our family.
But…I wanted to.
I needed to.

I home school because I needed to do this for my kids.
Plain and simple.
It’s the best solution to our problems with educating our kids.
But I never imagined I would home school. Ever.

I imagined I would put my kids on the bus, wave good bye and have time to do my own thing for 8 hours every day.
I wanted to get back into nutrition and helping folks.
I wanted to get back into cooking and teaching.
I wanted to have a u-pick berry farm and orchard.

And when I decided to homeschool two years ago, I was totally bummed.
I was certain my big dreams were done.
That I would be stuck tending my kids, and now their school work, all day.
With no time for me.

Then I was asked to become a fitness coach because someone noticed my love of exercise and nutrition.
Something I could do from home– as part or full-time as I wanted.
Well, why not?
I can do it from home.
I can help others.
I can make some money.
I can be with my kids.
Sounded good to me.

So I did.
I did it for me.
100% totally for me.
Selfish?
Maybe and that’s okay by me.

I needed to do this.
I needed to have a purpose again.
I needed to feel like I was contributing to the world.
I needed to help folks get healthy because that?
That is my passion.

And maybe more than all that?
I needed to have a backup plan.
I hadn’t worked for over 13 years.
I kept up on nutrition research, latest trends, etc. but I wasn’t a prime candidate for anyone hiring a dietitian.
I didn’t have a PhD. I didn’t have my Masters degree.
I was just a mom with a bachelor’s degree.

What if something happened to my husband and we lost his income?
How would I provide for my family?
I knew I needed a backup plan. For me.  For us.

And if nothing else, it was an opportunity to earn some spending money for trips or to pay off our mortgage.
I wanted to contribute to my family financially after years of doing the other stuff.
So I did it.

I became a coach and help folks online with fitness and nutrition.
I got certified to teach PiYo classes.
These two things have changed my world.
They have given me purpose again.
Yes, I know being a mom and wife is purposeful, but I wanted more.
I wanted to do what I thought God put me on this Earth to do to help folks outside of my home.

I am proud to say that I have found my purpose and my path.
How about you?
Has your life gone differently than you thought?
Have you given up on a passion because you don’t think you can?
Are you living your purpose?

I am here to tell you this: don’t be afraid to want more and go after it.
That “more” may be your back up plan and quite possibly your purpose.
Go after it.

easiest pizza dough. ever.

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Click here to watch my YouTube video of me making this recipe!

Lazy Pizza Dough (from Smitten Kitchen)

Tips:
–I always make this the night before. So every Thursday I make it before I go to bed. It’s a repeating calendar item on my phone. The “All-Day” and “Part-Day” versions are just fine, but not as stellar as overnight.
–It’s so easy that you can even stir it up at 9 p.m. and be done by 9:04 p.m.  Seriously.
–Use a big bowl and scale if you have one.  The scale makes it super fast and easy to measure everything.
–Do not knead the dough.
–Do not proof the yeast.
–Do not fret about how it looks.
–Simply measure, stir it up, cover it and let it do it’s thing.
–I have the ingredients written on a post it note that I stuck inside one of my cabinets. It’s so easy that all I have to do is check the amount on the ingredients and stir it up.

When it’s time to make the pizza:
–Preheat the oven to 425 degrees with your pizza stone set on the bottom rack.  Or just bake it in a baking sheet with olive oil on it.  Either way it will rock.
–It will be very soft when you go to shape it into pizza. Do not be alarmed.  Flour your hands and get it done.
–Top it with whatever the heck you want. You know what you like on pizza! Buy it, put it on there.
–Check it after 5 minutes to make sure the bottom isn’t getting too dark then move it to the top rack to finish. Should take another 5 minutes or so to be done.

Yield: 2 9×13-inch roughly rectangular or 2 12-inch roundish pizzas. We find that they serve 4 for dinner with a few pieces left over.

Options:

  • Overnight Dough Schedule: Begin between 8 and 9 p.m the evening before for dinner between 6 to 8 p.m. (approx. 22-hour dough)
  • All-Day Dough Schedule: Begin between 6 and 8 a.m that day for dinner between 6 to 8 p.m. (approx. 12-hour dough)
  • Part-Day Dough Schedule: Begin around noon that day for dinner between 6 to 8 p.m. (approx. 6-hour dough)

–3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour (bread flour works too)
–Slightly heaped 1/8, 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast (for Overnight, All-Day, orPart-Day Schedules respectively, above)
–1 1/2 teaspoons sea or kosher salt
–1 1/4 cup water, plus an additional tablespoon or two if needed (updated)

In a very large bowl, mix all ingredients with a spoon. (I told you it was easy!) The dough will be craggy and rough; this is fine, but if it feels excessively so, add another spoonful or even two of water. Cover bowl with plastic and keep at room temperature for approximately 22 (for Overnight schedule), 12 (for All-Day schedule) or 6 (for Part-Day schedule) hours, or until the dough has more than doubled. This takes longer in a chilly room and less in a very warm one, but don’t worry about the exact time.  Just make the pizza when you are ready to make it.

Flour your counter or large cutting board very well. Scrape dough out of bowl onto floured counter; in the time it has risen it should change from that craggy rough ball to something very loose, soft, sticky and stretchy. Flour the top of the dough, and divide dough in half (or more pieces, if you’re making smaller pizzas). Form them into ball-like shapes. Grab first round with floured hands and let the loose, soft dough stretch and fall away from your hands a few times before landing the dough on your prepared baking sheet/paddle. Use floured fingers to press and nudge dough into a roughly round or rectangular shape.  Top it with your favorite toppings and follow baking instructions in the tip above.

If you want to really get it done ahead of time: Once risen and formed into ball-like shapes, the dough can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 3 days and it freezes well too!

Whole wheat variation: Feel free to replace up to half the flour with whole wheat without altering any other ingredients.

talk it out.

This past year has been crazy for me.
I finally found that thing that I was born to do.
(Woohooo!! Purpose realized at 37 years of age!).
Which means trying to work from home while doing all the other stuff like home school, raise critters, keep a house, make meals, teach fitness classes…on and on.
As much as I love all that stuff, too much stuff stresses me out.

I got way stressed out several times this past year.
I would talk to myself.  I would talk to my team.
I would read books about how to do better at doing everything.
I would vent to my BFF.  I would pray and pray.
I would cry and get frustrated.
I would change my schedule.

My husband of 12 years?

He stood by.
Giving me room.
Waiting.
Watching.

Then recently we had a talk about a problem I was having with my business.
His solution was so sensible and well, necessary.
I immediately felt better.
And realized that well, duh, I should have talked to him about it sooner.

He knows me better than anyone else.
He knows what it’s like to live with me everyday.
He knows how my brain works and want I am passionate about.
He knows what stresses me out and what gets me fired up.

No wonder he knew how to help me solve this problem.
Reading books, talking to my team, crying to my BFF–those are all good things, but what I need to do first is talk to the person who knows me best.
I believe that God puts people in our lives for a purpose and spouse or partner is one of those people.
God knows the plan for my life.
He knew all along that I would start a business and love it and get stressed out and need help.
My husband wants to help me and man, it’s a lot easier to let him than to struggle alone.

So if you are struggling with something…find your spouse (or partner or person who knows you best) and tell them about it.
Even if you think they *might* roll their eyes at you.
20 bucks says they won’t.
Don’t be too quick to assume that the people around you aren’t supporting you.
And they will most likely have a different viewpoint that can help you.

In a world where our phones and computers rule our communication (which is not a bad thing in my opinion), it is good to take time to get back to real conversations.
With the people who know you best.

So go on, talk to someone about what’s bothering you.
We all have something that is heavy on our heart.
Share it with that person that God has given you.
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