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Month: February 2017

Maybe It’s The Food??

Maybe It’s The Food??

Allergies, stomach aches after you eat, feeling in a fog, tired, headaches? These have all been symptoms of friends and family I know who have found out they have an intolerance to certain foods. This was also me. I’ve been asked numerous times how I became gluten and dairy free, and what exactly I eat; so I thought I would share everything with you all!

I am not the only one in my family with a food intolerance. Both my sister and dad are also gluten free. My first symptom I noticed was I started having headaches everyday. I was getting plenty of sleep, drinking enough water, and all my vitamin levels were normal. However, I started realizing after I ate I would feel bloated or nauseated, especially after eating at a restaurant. After discussing with my mom, I decided to have a food panel test done at an Integrative Health Doctor. They take a blood sample and after a few weeks I found out which foods I was sensitive to. A food intolerance is when you have difficulty digesting certain foods. It is similar to a food allergy, except it may come on gradually over a longer period of time. Because I ate gluten and dairy foods my whole life it “messed up” my gut. This is sometimes referred to as “leaky gut syndrome”; which is the result of damage to the intestinal lining, making it less able to protect the internal environment as well as to filter needed nutrients and other biological substances. As a consequence, some bacteria and their toxins, incompletely digested proteins and fats, and waste not normally absorbed may “leak” out of the intestines into the bloodstream.” After seeing my doctor I began my new diet and started taking probiotics. Probiotics are the good bacteria in your body and can help heal your intestines.

So I will admit it was really hard at first. When I went to the store for the first time after changing my diet I cried in the middle of the cookie aisle; what was I going to eat?! I started doing research, changed up recipes I loved, and talked with my family on what they ate. Fast forward almost two years later…it really isn’t too bad! And I feel SO much better.

If you are thinking about changing your diet, or have recently found out you have a food intolerance I have some tips for you!

1.Take everything out of your house you can’t have. No need to tempt yourself! Out of sight out of mind

2.Things to think about when going to the store:

-Most grocery stores have labels on the shelves of items that are gluten free

-Some stores even have their own gluten free section

-What to look for in labels: you will need to check out the ingredients on everything! If it doesn’t have a “certified gluten free” label you will want to make sure it does not have something you are sensitive to. The easiest way to tell if something does or does not contain gluten and dairy is after the ingredients there is a section that says, “CONTAINS:” This will list all the main food allergies such as wheat, milk, nuts, soy etc. It is still a good idea to read all ingredients though.

3.Yes it is more expensive….BUT if you search various grocery stores and do your research you can find some good deals!

4.You CAN have desserts! They make a lot of gluten/dairy free cookies, brownies, cupcakes, cakes, pies, and ice cream

5.Google it. I have googled countless recipes when I am craving something. I cooked our whole Thanksgiving dinner gluten and dairy free (including macaroni & cheese and pumpkin pie!)

6.Here are some dairy free alternatives for milk and butter: almond, soy, coconut, and rice milk and Earth Balance and/or Smart Balance Butter

7.When going to a restaurant:

-It is important to tell the waiter/waitress you have food allergies

-Ask if meats are cooked in butter (if so, see if they can cook yours in oil)

-I love the Find Me Gluten Free app on my phone. It is great when traveling to unfamiliar cities to see what restaurants are close by

-Ask if they can change their gloves to avoid cross contamination

-Be aware that some fast food restaurants cook all their foods in the same fryer

Great Fast Food/Chain restaurants that offer gluten and dairy free options:


-Chick fil a

-Noodle Company

-Jimmy Johns

-Domino’s Pizza

-Brixx Pizza

-Red Robin

It hasn’t been easy, but it is worth it. My hope is I inspire others to think about what you put in your body, and even the symptoms you may be having. I am not perfect. I eat way too much sugar and gluten free bread everyday, but I do feel like I have allowed my body to heal and I have a greater appreciation for what I do eat.



2017 Goals

2017 Goals

A few years ago I changed my perspective on goal setting after reading Lara Casey’s book Make It Happen, and purchasing her Powersheets workbook. I briefly talked about them in a previous post, but wanted to share in more detail my goals for this year! I used to try and make a few “resolutions”, but ended up never accomplishing them and feeling in a rut throughout the year. It felt like I wasn’t moving forward. After using the Powersheets, I have learned how to set more meaningful goals and actually accomplish them!

“PowerSheets are the ultimate intentional goal planner! They were designed to help you uncover the things that are most important to you and create POWERFUL goals that are meaningful and action-driven. Traditional goal setting hasn’t worked for us, so we created a goal planner that focuses on what matters most. With PowerSheets, big ideas have come to life, new ideas have changed lives, fear has been let go, businesses have been started, marriages have been strengthened, and best of all: the little moments that matter have been savored. PowerSheets enable you to start living on purpose.”                      source: Cultivate What Matters

But you don’t have to have the Powersheets to create good goals!!

Here are some tips and things I’ve learned-

  • Write your goals down: This is simple, but actually writing them on paper will help you remember them! Put your goals in a place you will see them everyday. Mine are currently on my desk; where I spend every morning before work!
  • Make smaller goals from your big “yearly” goals: These can be monthly, weekly, or daily. Breaking your goals down allows them to become more attainable and you can see your progress. This eliminates the frustration you could have when you feel like you aren’t moving forward.
  • Pray: Pray for wisdom, guidance, and allow Him to open your heart to the dreams you have. Think about why you want to accomplish the goals. Continue these prayers throughout the year. Never stop turning to God for guidance in your journey.
  • Celebrate!!!: This is actually one of my goals 🙂 Celebrate progress, even the littlest step forward! Celebrate with the ones you love! Eat a cupcake, grab coffee, or treat yourself to a manicure. However you love to celebrate, do it!!

My Goals:

1.BE STILL with God

Ways I will take action: journal daily, read my new 365 bible, quiet time in the morning

2.Manage my TIME better

Ways I will take action: social media free days, smaller to-do lists, less tv, set a routine


Ways I will take action: get rid of “stuff”, read Living Well Spending Less

4.LOVE my husband

Ways I will take action: surprise him, show joy, letting go, ask questions, date nights

5.Live a HEALTHY life

Ways I will take action: More water daily, meal plan, essential oil use, exercise, sleep 8 hours

6.GIVE Joy

Ways I will take action: Volunteer at church, give more of my time, money and resources

7.CULTIVATE Relationships

Ways I will take action: letters to friends and family, meaningful coffee dates, phone calls, pray for my loved ones, send prayer texts

8.Take a LEAP

Ways I will take action: Start a blog (CHECK!!!!!), travel, start photographing again, create more


Ways I will take action: Plant in my flower beds, landscape, read about gardening


Ways I will take action: Happy dances, thankful lists, inspiration boards (things that make me happy), eat a cupcake 😀


By no means does it have to be perfect. Brainstorm, doodle, write, cross-out, or change goals mid-year! All of that is part of the process! Also I am NOT perfect with my goals. Many days I don’t check anything off; push back goals to the next month. But all of that is okay!!! The journey and growth along the way is what matters. It is learning more about yourself. Since starting my goals in January, I have noticed a sense of calmness over me that I have never felt before. My quiet time in the morning has become more meaningful, I have seen progress in my attitude, and overall outlook of life. I know God is molding and teaching me through these goals.

It is never too late to start your goals. Your new year could be today! I would love to hear from you; comment below and let me know your goals for the year!



*Note: This is not a sponsored review of the Powersheets product

Top 6 Teas Found In My Cabinet

Top 6 Teas Found In My Cabinet

I am obsessed with tea. One of my favorite memories as a child was going to a tea room with my grandmother and aunt. We picked our tea, dressed in fancy hats and gloves, and ate scones with delicious lemon curd on them. It was so fun! I love everything related to tea…teacups, mugs, tea kettles, and tea pots! My husband thinks we have too many mugs….I don’t think we have enough!

There are so many teas I enjoy, but I thought I would start with some I have currently. I usually drink my tea without any sweetener. If I do want to add something, it would be honey.

Harney and Sons Fine Teas: Cranberry

I got this one as a Christmas gift and love it! I love herbal tea and this tastes like all things winter!

The Republic of Tea: Blackberry Sage

I love The Republic of Tea and I found this one at Whole Foods. It is a black tea, but isn’t as bitter tasting.

The Republic of Tea: Pumpkin Spice

Yes you heard correctly….there is a pumpkin spice tea! Perfect for fall (or really any season!)

Mighty Leaf: Organic Coconut Assam

This is a black tea, with a nice hint of coconut. I found this one at Lowes Foods. Mighty Leaf is another one of my top favorites.

Traditional Medicinals: Ginger Aid

This is perfect for digestion or if you feel sick.

Celestial Seasonings: Watermelon Lime Zinger

I haven’t had this brand of tea in a long time, but when I saw it was watermelon I couldn’t resist! I love watermelon and it is the perfect spring/summer tea!

Do you love tea? Or are you more of a coffee drinker?? I do enjoy both! I would love to hear some of your favorites, so leave me a comment below!