I love sharing information with people . . . I am a teacher by trade and by heart. So when I had a chance to go to the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s first-ever Leadership Summit on Clean and Healthy Living, I jumped at the chance!
I’ve been following the EWG for years now and use their
resources all the time with clients, so it was especially exciting to hear the
founder and CEO Ken Cook speak along
with many of the scientists doing the excellent work every day to put out
clear, evidence-based, relevant health information on everything from water
safety to clean beauty products to pesticides to healthy cleaning products. You
will find a wealth of helpful information on the EWG page!
As a board-certified practitioner in holistic nutrition and certified nutrition consultant with a Master of Science degree in Health and Nutrition Education, I am here to serve my clients in their whole health and well-being any way I can.
And I get asked all the time for recommendations . . . everything from recipes to supplements to restaurants to specific products. And by nature, I LOVE giving helpful suggestions! (I’m one of those people that strangers will walk up to and ask me for a recommendation!)
So this post is a long time coming! I’m here to share some of my FAVORITE things with you!
Full disclosure: For a few of these items, I do receive a very small amount of compensation if you use my link. I’ve marked these with an asterisk (*) so you know. Feel free to find these things on your own as well! 🙂 My intent is to put great things on your radar!
Beautycounter is a line of SAFE and CLEAN skincare, bath/body, and makeup beauty products that are free from harmful chemicals that wreak havoc on our bodies. There are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market today & many don’t have any safety data! Why would I put that on my body??!!I love Beautycounter because it is a company that I can trust is using only the safest ingredients, is against animal testing, AND works and feels GREAT! Message me for ideas of where to start!
DoTerra is a fantastic collection of pure essential oils. Why do I choose DoTerra? High quality, beautiful blends that not only smell great but past my testing standards! Some of my favorites include Serenity for a lovely calming blend, Deep Blue to apply to tired and achy muscles and joints, Cheer roller for anytime pick-me-up, ClaryCalm roller for hormonal support during your period, and the whole OnGuard line for quality immune support and daily, safe cleaning! Want to know more? Let’s talk!
Dry Farm Wines curates only the highest quality natural wines from small, sustainable, organic /biodynamic, family farms that meet their strict standard of health and taste! Unlike today’s commercialized and processed wines–which are full of additives, sugar, pesticides and other harmful ingredients–Dry Farm wines are sugar-free, lower alcohol, lower sulfites, paleo and keto friendly, and free of industrial additives–this is real and delicious wine!
Sun Basket is meal-kit that delivers fresh, pre-measured ingredients with easy-to-follow, delicious recipes directly to your door in an insulated box. Great options from gluten-free, paleo, low-carb, vegetarian, and dairy-free to family-friendly or “speedy” meals. I’ve tried a few kits and this remains my favorite in terms of quality!
Nutritionally designed meals you’ll crave, delivered to your door! Each week their chefs create a delicious new menu packed with the highest quality ingredients. Choose from plant-based or add meat. All of Thistle’s meals are gluten and dairy-free and they use organic produce whenever possible. I’ve had 30+meals from them over the last few years (all paid for by me) and I’ve enjoyed every salad and dinner I’ve received! So many veggies and delicious sauces!
Methodology’s motto is “food as medicine.” Great options of whole-food, paleo-friendly, nourishing meals designed with your wellness and tastebuds in mind. Free of gluten, refined sugar, canola oil, vegetable oil, corn, legumes, chemicals, preservatives, or processed ingredients. Plus, foods comes in reusable glass jars!!
Roasted, ground, and brewed just like coffee, Crio Bru has the amazing flavor and aroma of pure dark chocolate (without the sugar!). Plus all the benefits of cacao–a superfood prized by ancient cultures for its energizing and restorative properties. Crio Bru also has theobromine, a naturally occurring stimulant found in cacao that can be longer lasting, milder, and more pleasant than caffeine. How I start my morning every day!
Welcome to the NOURISH YOUR WHOLE SELF Holistic Health and Wellness Program!
This program is for YOU, the changemaker, the progressive leader, the one who needs to optimize your health and well-being so that you can show up as an agent of positive transformation for our world!
Be the amazing changemaker you were called to be without the burnout and fatigue!
This online coaching program is specifically designed to optimize your health and well-being—mind, body and spirit!
I know these are challenging times and I know we are all feeling overwhelmed some days with burnout looming . . . but here’s the deal, you can take small steps on a daily basis to better support your health and well-being so that you can show up for your mission, yourself, your team, your relationships, and our planet.
So how do you make this happen? With support and guidance and prioritizing your health and well-being, knowing that you can’t give from an empty cup.
The NOURISH YOUR WHOLE SELF program will address your health and well-being from the following angles:
Establish more clarity and confidence around your FOOD/NUTRITION choices and routines so that you can feel more energized, balanced, and nourished all day long.
Practice effective strategies to support better quality SLEEP/REST because sleep is essential to having more energy, less cravings, and more resilience in handling everyday challenges.
Create the healthy SCHEDULE/HABITS/ROUTINES that allows you to move through your day with greater ease, energy, and focus.
Prioritize more daily MOVEMENT into your routine so that you can be more present in your body, relieve stress, and feel stronger.
Cultivate ways to have moments of meaningful CONNECTION TO SELF in the form self-care practices, self-love mindset, expressions of creativity, and opportunities for pleasure and joy.
Focus on our MINDSET and creating more mindfulness, practice slowing down, and cultivating rest.
Continue to build meaningful CONNECTION TO OTHERS (your larger community, your personal and professional relationships, your organization/business) from a place of authenticity, giving from the overflow, and healthy boundaries.
Continue to develop and nurture your sense of PURPOSE/MISSION/LEADERSHIP because I know you came into this world at this time to make the largest positive impact!
“Michelle has a breadth of knowledge on holistic healing but what sets her apart is her care for her clients. She’s gotten me through a major health crisis and I wouldn’t be where I am today professionally or personally without her.” –AZ, activist and university professor
“Michelle is the most intuitive and attentive practitioner I’ve
ever worked with and has given me very usable and helpful advice. I’ve already
made great strides toward all of my health goals and look forward to continuing
to work with her in the future.” –AO, grant writer
“I started with Michelle a bit over 2 months ago. In 2015 I had gained 20 pounds in 6 months of emotional eating, and I was struggling with food cravings, insomnia and anxiety. Michelle helped me improve my sleep and then we found easy-to-prepare balanced meals that I enjoyed. Once I started eating these meals, my emotional eating and cravings disappeared! My anxiety also disappeared and I lost 14 pounds since January 1st. I’m loving food, never hungry, and I feel normal! Best investment I’ve made!” –T.C. artist, activist, community college instructor
“Michelle is outstanding. I am constantly learning new things about my nutrition every time I see her. It is rare to find someone who embodies everything from the technical understanding to the empathetic ear…and Michelle does just that. I look forward to our meetings and have enjoyed every step of this journey with her. Thank you Michelle for sharing your love of food and health with me!”–SN, community organizer, dance teacher, artist
In Honor of Black History Month: How Michelle Obama’s Book Becoming is an Inspiration to Us All
I just finished Michelle Obama’s amazing memoir Becoming and I felt inspired to share a few reflections with you.
Let me be clear, even before reading her book, my love for Michelle Obama ran deep. Never before have I been so happy to share my name with someone. Her commitment to her family, her country, her career, her husband and partner are all inspiring. I am also inspired by her voice and commitment to important causes like children’s health, girls’ education worldwide, and to our veterans returning from war. She used her position of power as First Lady to not only focus on these amazing causes, but she also did an incredible job of protecting her daughters so that they could grow up as “normal” as possible while living in the White House.
Besides learning more about how Michelle grew up on the South Side of Chicago, I also loved learning very human things about Barack Obama, like how he would leave his clothes lying around every where! I also smiled reading how cool and calm he is by temperament and how Michelle would be much more likely to get worked up about something (sounds a lot like me and my husband Gary!).
Lastly, what I loved as a through-line from the title to every section of the book was this idea of BECOMING.
She writes in the Epilogue:
“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end. . . It’s all a process, steps along a path. Becoming requires equal parts patience and rigor. Becoming is never giving up on the idea that there’s more growing to be done.” (419)
You see, that is why I also love the work that I do. My clients may come in because they want to lose weight or change their eating habits or improve their digestive system or let go of their cravings to sugar . . . . but really what they want is to see is CHANGE. They think, “This is not working. Something needs to change and I might need some help in making those changes.” And I get the honor and privilege of being on that path or journey with them for a little while, to guide, support, encourage, and cheer along the way.
I think just like Michelle Obama, we are
doing our best to continue to grow into new ways of being. And health and
wellness for many is a part of that path.
Maybe this has you thinking? Was is it that I am becoming next? What part of my path is unfolding next? What small steps am I taking forward today? This may be in terms of your health, your family and relationships, your career, your community, your spiritual life.
For me, a new path I am exploring is reaching out to progressive leaders in my community so that I can empower them in actively achieving health, well being, and balance. If they feel strong, healthy, clear, and powerful by taking charge of their health and well-being, then they can better go out into the world and be the amazing agents of positive change we all so need them to be!
If you’d like to read more about this new direction or how you might be able to help me find these amazing leaders, please check out my blog post: I Am an Agent of Positive Change.
I will leave you with Michelle’s final words
in the book:
“There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.”
I am committed to empowering progressive leaders in actively achieving health, well being, and balance so that they can lead others in making positive changes.
My vision includes:
1. Working with progressive leaders one-on-one on their health goals.
2. Starting small online groups at a price point that the average employee in a progressive company or organization can invest in to invest in their health.
3. Workshops and seminars in organizations and companies on wellness and health and self-care.
4. Continuing with a lot of great free content available to a wide audience.
I am so fired up about this!
It feels so good to finally be sharing this with you all!
So if you or someone you know is a progressive leader in a company, non-profit, educational setting, think tank, start-up, or any other progressive organization and would be open to either having a quick phone conversation with me or answering a few questions via an anonymous questionnaire, please let me know. Or if you know about cool organizations—local, national or international—that are doing amazing things and you want me to know about them, please share! You don’t need to know anyone there—with the help of my awesome intern, I’m amassing a database of organizations and causes.
I feel so passionate about
this new direction with my practice. Thank you for any of your support!
Causes I feel committed to
include but are not limited to (and in no particular order):
Women’s Rights (including reproductive rights, domestic violence, intersectional feminism)
Racial and Social Justice
LGBTQ+ rights and representation
Food (organic farming, food justice, food safety)
Housing and homelessness
Inmate and ex-inmate support services
Progressive political organizations
Arts (dance, music, visual, drama)
A little back story . . .
It’s the two year anniversary of the Woman’s March on Washington. For those of you who don’t know, I went to Washington, D.C. in January 2017 to show up for what I stand for, to make my body seen and my voice heard. I showed up because I have the privilege to be able to do so—a flexible work schedule, no kids or ailing parents to care for, and the financial ability, although not easy, to do so. I had to go.
after the election I woke up with such heavy grief, and the depression stayed
with me for days. I am not one prone to depression so this inability to work,
to get dressed, to shower, to eat, to move was new to me. I functioned but it
was like moving through a molasses of grief, bewilderment and fear.
And I could see
it in my clients as well. In the weeks leading up to the election, the amount
of stress-eating, over-drinking, and fear was often spoken about by my clients.
I was trying to support them, helping them focus on self-care in the midst of
it all, but I understood their challenges.
A few days after the election, I started to pull myself out and being the person that I am—full of fire, determination, and optimism—I started to take positive action.
I started small, creating a free online self-care Facebook group called “Self-Care is a Radical Act of Love” and instead of accepting payment, I asked participants, if they could afford it, to donate to their favorite charity. Part of my mission with the group was “we need to take care of ourselves so that we are able to take care of others and be positive agents of change.” I knew if I was struggling, others would be too and might benefit from the support.
(By the way, I’ve reopened the group so that it is live and going again! It’s free and you can join HERE!)
Right now I’m going to pause and answer the
question that might be in some of your minds . . . Why am I talking about politics on my health coaching business website?
The truth for me is that this election and the
shifts that have occurred the past two years go way beyond politics. This is
not about red/blue or which side of the aisle one supports. This is about important
values that I hold dear and that I am willing to stand up FOR. The election of
2017 made one thing very clear to me. I am an agent of positive change.
Now what was I going to do about it?
So flash forward to the
present, January 2019. This is what I’m excited to share with you and where I
need your help . . . See above!!!