thing 1, thing 2, thing 3!

When it comes down to it, it's just plain ole common sense that can teach us how to be healthy and stay fit. Truly, we just have to calm down, get rid of the constant current-fad static that only confuses, and think back 40-50 years at what history shows us!  If you weren't alive then, I'll be happy to describe it :)

First, people MOVED!  It was part of our everyday lives. We were all active, adults and kids.  We worked in our yards, played with our friends, and engaged in sports.  As a kid, I was on my bike or walking to a friend's house every weekend and sometimes during the week.  We weren't sitting in front of a computer, or glued to video screens or tv. I did enjoy though watching cartoons on Saturday mornings and Dark Shadows after school (addicted!) Click on the link.


2nd, we FED OURSELVES!   We ate 3 meals a day with  snacks in between. We ate REAL food that was mostly home-cooked and families sat down together for dinner in the evening. My mom sent my brothers and I off to school in the morning with a stomach full of eggs, bacon and toast (or oatmeal and juice) and she packed our school lunches every day (a routine I continued with my own kids). We didn't have the enormous array of processed foods that we have today--the aisles upon aisles of chips, crackers, bars, boxed and frozen dishes. And the processed foods we did have back then was healthy compared to today's offerings which are packed with artificial ingredients, lots of soy and corn, fillers, flavors, colors and devoid of live vital enzymes and natural vitamins and minerals, and all designed to be as cheap as possible, thus keeping food manufacturer's profits high.  Our body's Metabolic system knows what to do with the REAL stuff--but the fake?  It's confused!  And dysfunction follows, causing a cascade of unfortunate events leading to disease.

3rd, SUGAR wasn't KING!


We had treats for sure, my mom fixed dessert a few times a week--of course you couldn't have it unless you ate your dinner!  But there wasn't the abundance of sodas, energy drinks, flavored waters, artificial sugar, cookies, cakes, and bars in our cupboard and refrigerator.  Today we're inundated with these sugary calories every time we turn around, whether at home, the office or the grocery checkout line.  Not only does eating sweets constantly destabilize our blood sugar--leading to inflammation, fatigue, dehydration, insomnia, lowered immune system, and higher risk of chronic diseases--but it piles on the weight.  One soda per day for 365 days per year adds up to a 15 pound weight gain yearly--that's one big reason people consistently gain weight over time--too many calories, mostly from sugary sources, and we're NOT MOVING. Less than 50% of Americans exercise 3x per week for 30 mins, and more importantly most people are not active at all during the day. 

Back in the 60s and 70s, "Diets" were pretty unheard of and obesity was extremely rare.  Diabetes was something you might occasional find in an older person and Heart Disease was also uncommon--I knew more about it because I had it in my family.  You never heard about someone being on medication for cholesterol or blood pressure. And Cancer was never a childhood disease and only touched a very small number of adult lives.  Now these chronic diseases are epidemics, and sadly most of them are called "lifestyle diseases" because lifestyle factors far outweigh any genetic factor when it comes to determining risk to the individual. 

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So why is it so hard to just take this practical common sense to heart and start making head way?  Well, it depends on how comfortable you've become with your status quo, how well you can "rock the boat" and manage living with a little discomfort for a short while as your brain gets rewired to think and feel differently. Changing habits that have developed over a lifetime is never the easiest thing, but it is the only thing you can do to make a 180 degree change in the direction you want to go. There are truly no quick fixes that won't boomerang back on you, no supplement, shot or pill that's going to create long-lasting change.  Creating new healthier patterns of behavior takes your desire, your brain, your will and your daily commitment.  Once you start though, it gets a lot easier as momentum builds and that starts to propel you a little faster towards your goal--but you've got to BEGIN, and there's no better time than NOW!

What has changed in our culture is  EVERYTHING.  We move less, we eat more and more that isn't REAL, and we consume far too many sugary calories.  We could add to this an overload of unmanaged stress that hampers our ability emotional, mentally and physical to take true ownership of our bodies and lives, and practice self-love and care.. These are the areas I work on with my clients as a Wellness and Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer--it's a 360 approach to lifetime health and wholeness.  Just reach out if you need help creating the healthy life that you really want--for you, for the people you love.  My work is my passion and I want the very best for your life!  Contact me here

Try to keep thing 1, thing 2 and thing 3 in your mind this week and begin to act on good, practical common sense advice from the past that will create a much healthier future!

Be Well! Carol




Stability, the spine, your health!

As a Personal Trainer and fitness instructor, I can just look at my clients and see in their stance the toll that emotional, mental and physical stress is taking on their physical bodies; the fatigue and muscular imbalances that hunch the shoulders over, compress the spinal column and constrict the breath and energy flow through the central organs.  Creating alignment and stability in our physical frame by developing core muscles that support our spinal column is foundational for any other body work we do.  What we don't see on the outside is how poor posture affects the functioning of our physiological and organ functioning and this is crucial to our overall health! 

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A spine that is lengthened, not compressed, is a more open channel for energy to flow thru, and each organ of the body has its natural position and place that is, to a large degree, maintained by correct alignment. Physiological and organ function depend greatly on a neutral and supported posture. This also affects our ability to fully breathe, because the diaphragm--the primary muscle responsible for breathing--is attached to the ribs, spine and hip flexor muscle. Rounded shoulders prevent the rib cage from being able to fully expand, which interferes with our breathing---this is very important to understand and can make all the difference in the world in your health!  

The very first thing I work with new clients on is their alignment and foot placement--the integrity of the entire frame begins at the foot!   So I analyze foot strike--do they strike heavily on the inside of the foot or outside, check knee-to-toes alignment--and how we can improve if needed--and then we work on getting strength and flexibility all throughout the foot and the ankle.  This is when we start working on achieving and maintaining neutral posture thru core strengthening:  The most important function of a neutral posture is to keep the body in an upright position and supporting the frame against the pull of gravity.  If there is dysfunction in the alignment, excess stress and weight is put on muscles and joints which can lead to a significant amount of pain and discomfort.  And if you've ever had this type of back pain you know what this is about!

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What is neutral posture?  The head centered over the shoulders, shoulders pressed down & back,  back pulled up out of the hips and chest lifted, knees slightly bent, a gentle pull-in of the belly-button to engage the abs, and feet stable on the floor with your body weight distributed between both feet.  Whether seated or standing, we always want to keep the back lifted, and not settling into the hips--it's as if a string is attached to the back top of the head pulling you towards the ceiling and another string is attached to the tail bone pulling you towards the floor.  Once you learn how to do this and start to practice it in everyday life, it doesn't take long to get to the point where it just occurs naturally without much thought.  And when carrying a heavy backpack, purse or briefcase on one side, the ability to keep the spine in alignment and supported is even more important to avoid imbalances leading to chronic pain.


Its also amazing how much more confident people look when they walk into a room with a balanced upright posture!  Have you ever noticed that?  Body language is powerful and confidence attracts others to us, improving our ability to feel connected with our inner strength and more positively engaged with others. This is one lesson I learned from my mom as a young girl, being always taller than anyone else till I turned about 13 which made me want to hunch over.  And yes, my mom did make me walk across my room with books stacked on my head everyday--ha!  But she was right--Thanks Mom!

Become more aware of your posture during the day by hitting the pause button and checking in with your body! 

Let me help you find your perfect alignment and best health! We will have you walking taller, feeling stronger and living healthier in no time!  Contact me here

Be Well!  Carol   

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Protein Crazy!

It seems that everyone these days is concerned with protein--and no wonder with all the food and drink products being advertised and supplements hocked by so-called fitness "experts". Typical questions I get from clients and curiosity-seekers: "Am I getting enough? Doesn't protein help in losing weight?  I have to eat meat to get protein, right? Should I buy a protein powder?"

As if we really need to be concerned about not getting enough protein! Americans typically eat WAY more than they need, and especially in animal products and protein supplements. Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a key role in how our bodies function, but despite all the hooplah about high-protein diets, our protein requirements are really not that much: only about a third of a gram per pound of body weight.  

"Protein should provide about 15% of an average healthy person’s daily calories. As a rule of thumb, people of both sexes and any size will do fine with about 60 grams of protein a day". 

If you are a meat-eater, about 6-12 ounces of meat per day for example, will more than fit the bill!  If you like eggs, one egg is 6 gms protein and two eggs gives you 1/4 of your daily protein needs! (This is not an estimate for professional athletes or bodybuilders, this is only for the average person who is reasonably active). If you are active and a regular exerciser, you will need a little more protein in your diet.  Very important for my girlfriends out there!: A woman’s risk of breast cancer goes up significantly the more animal protein they consume, so it’s recommended that women only have one serving of animal flesh per day, and one serving is about 5-6 ounces, or visually the size of your palm.  In fact, eating a high-meat diet is related to a much higher risk for many diseases in both males and females, especially heart disease and colon cancer. Excess dietary protein creates more uric acid which upsets ph balance, increases calcium loss in the urine, raises the risk for osteoporosis and kidney stones, and results in more inflammation throughout the body.  Joint pain?  Two things I look at first with a new Health Coaching client:  meat consumption and water intake. Dehydration affects the joints and nerves and will create and increase pain.  To avoid weight gain or to lose weight, you certainly don’t want to take in more protein than you need. Your body will use the protein it needs and actually just store any extra as fat!  

A greater concern than "how much?" is "from where?" Meat sourced from factory farms that raise animals loaded with growth hormones and antibiotics, fed mostly GMO corn and soy,  and in an environment that fosters diseased and terribly stressed animals is not a healthy source. These also increasingly harbor salmonella outbreaks. Whenever possible, look at local sources of animal meat raised on sustainable farms concerned with the ethical treatment of their livestock. Otherwise, I'd say purchase the highest quality you can--which will be more expensive--but eat smaller amounts of meat, and start moving towards a more plant-based diet. Your health will be vastly improved and you will spend less on your food budget! 

If everyone were to adopt a whole-food, plant-based diet, I believe we could lower our healthcare costs by 70-80%” Dr. T. Colin Campbell, PhD

And then we get to the part where I tell you that veggies also have protein in them. And that it's possible for many, but not all, to get plenty from plant sources. Learning what works best for you is an experiment worth exploring!  Did you know that one cup of cooked lentils provides you with almost 18 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber?  Lentils are also loaded with iron, zinc, phosphorous, potassium and folate. In fact, plant foods are a great source to fill your protein needs. Including more plant sources of protein will also offer more a lot more health benefits including live enzymes, lots of antioxidants to fight free-radical damage, healthy gut bacteria, more fiber and loads of essential nutrients. There are lots of nutrient dense foods with a high protein content!

Just keep in mind, it’s always more important to eat a varied diet than to isolate and focus on any one nutrient. Whole Real Foods that you mostly prepare at home are wonderful nature packages with nutrients that all work synergistically to give your body exactly what it needs. 

if you're ready to really and finally reach your health and fitness goals--which includes learning how to eat super-nutritiously, how to cook and prepare delicious, quick and inexpensive meals, have a stronger body and more resilient immune system, and to create a healthier lifestyle in every way--contact me!  This is what I coach, teach and live everyday!  Check out my website: and the different programs and services I offer.  Then reach out!  I'd love to talk to you.   Be Well!  Carol


Happy Spring Quinoa Salad! w/Herbed Avocado--Yuuumm!

Have I told you how much I LOVE cooking? And of course EATING too!   I sometimes have a health coaching client that doesn't really cook at all, and part of my job as their coach is to teach them how easy and healthy it is to prepare something luscious in a short amount of time!  There's something about using what you have in your own kitchen to create delicious, nourishing and beautiful meals that just makes you feel more satisfied, more in charge of your life and more able to meet your health goals. All of the ingredients in this gorgeous meal-in-a-bowl are clean, detoxifying and healing--and perfect for warm weather! Super shout-out to COOKIE + Kate for this adapted gem!

1. To cook the quinoa: In a saucepan, combine the rinsed quinoa and 1 cup low-sodium veggie broth and 1 pat of butter or 1 Tbls olive oil.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, remove the pot from heat and let it rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Season to taste with sea salt.

2. To toast the sunflower seeds: Pour the seeds into a small pan. Heat the seeds over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and turning golden on the edges. Remove from heat.

3. To make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, mustard and honey until emulsified. Season with sea salt and black pepper, to taste.

4. To prepare the avocado: In a small bowl, combine the chunks of avocado, lemon or lime juice, chopped fresh herbs, minced garlic, coriander and sea salt. Mash with a fork until the mixture is blended and no longer chunky.

5.  Assemble the salads: Divide the arugula and quinoa between two large salad bowls. Drizzle lightly with vinaigrette (you will have leftover vinaigrette) and toss to coat. Divide the radishes and carrots between the two bowls, top with a sprinkling of sunflower seeds, and add a big ol' dollop of herbed avocado. Serve!

We need a revolution. Cooking real food is a revolutionary act.* We have lost the means to care for ourselves. We have now raised the second generation of Americans who don’t know how to cook. The average child in America doesn’t know how to identify even the most basic vegetables and fruit; our kids don’t know where their food comes from or even that it grows on a farm
— Dr. Mark Hyman.

Dr Hyman was one of my professors at my Integrated Wellness and Nutrition School (IIN) He's the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, the Founder of The UltraWellness Center, and a ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author.  Check out his article Why Cooking Can Save Your Life and you might get even more inspired!

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Be Well!   Carol (and Henry the Beast!) 



¼ cup olive oil                                                  

1 lemon zested and juiced                              

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard                              

½ teaspoon local honey                            

Dash sea salt                                              

Lots of freshly ground black  pepper            

½ cup quinoa, rinsed under running water in a fine mesh colander

2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

2 teaspoons olive oil

4 cups arugula

2 radishes, sliced into super thin strips or rounds

3 carrots, peeled and then sliced into ribbons with a vegetable peeler

3 tablespoons sunflower seeds

Lemon vinaigrette

¼ cup olive oil

1 lemon (preferably organic), zested and juiced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon honey

Dash sea salt

Lots of freshly ground black pepper

Herbed avocado

1 large avocado, diced

¼ cup olive oil                                                  

1 lemon zested and juiced                              

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard                              

2 cloves garlic minced

Dash sea salt                                              

Lots of freshly ground black  pepper            


The season of Brotherly & Sisterly Love--join me!

The Holidays can be wonderful and joyous times to be together and count our many blessings, but they also bring their own stressors:  family "togetherness" tension, the exhaustion of over-scheduled calendars, increased financial stress, guilt and remorse about the expectations of others, and deep sadness and grief that is overwhelming for some around us.  As we go about our daily work and social interactions, let's keep our eyes open to see those who need comfort, whetherencouraging words, a family meal, a handwritten note, a kind and knowing look ("I see you") or maybe a big hug.  In being present and open to the needs of others--not expecting to receive, but to give--the season becomes more magical and meaningful! 

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The Winter Season is always a reminder to slow down, and take the time to create space for quiet reflection, restoration, awareness of breath, focusing on gratefulness and the honoring of the true needs of our body, soul and spirit.  If you're in Nashville, join me for a special candle-lit Bodyworks Winter Solstice Mat Class on Thursday December 15th, 6-7pm at the Shelby Park Nature Center. Call to reserve your spot: 615.862.8539,  space is limited!  We'll have some healthy nibbles and raise a glass to the season--after workout, of course!.... In lieu of a class fee, please bring nicely used warm coats, scarfs and gloves for our homeless brothers and sisters! I would love to connect with you--Feel free to reach out and contact me here   Be Well!--Carol

It's here! My Holiday Thriving Tips

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Here it comes-- my favorite time of the year!   We keep things simple around here, basking in the time we can just spend together and enjoying family meals, maybe a movie or two and walks in the park.  With all three of my kids being grown ups now and living in different places, the most cherished gift is just having them all home!  A few years ago, we decided not to do gifts anymore, just invest in a little better wine and ample healthy food stuffs, maybe catch the Nutcracker performance-- and I can't tell you how much this has lowered our pre and post-holiday stress!  But stress can come in many forms;  maybe it’s the fear of weight gain, or too little  margin time in the schedule for self-care like exercise, gift-giving financial strains, or too much partying and not enough sleep.  For some, it comes in feeling lonely and isolated without friends or family nearby. All of these can take a toll on us emotionally, mentally, and physically. 

With all the glitter and the hustle-bustle, it’s easy to get so caught up in keeping up that we forget that everything important in life starts with taking care of our health - so we can feel good, enjoy the time we spend with others and have the energy we need for work and play. Adding extra weight over the holidays was something I used to battle until I learned some mindfulness strategies to put that behind me once and for all!   Food has a lot to do with this of course, but there are several other issues that impact our health and well-being.  I began to look at what was important to me about this time of year, and how well I was taking care of myself, body and soul. Here are some of the things I put into practice then that are just second nature now! 

Holiday Thriving Tips:

Put people first. If the purpose of being together to make real connection, then people should be the centerpiece of the season, not food.  Don’t get me wrong, delicious food is essential, but set your intention on putting people first and really enjoy them. This is guaranteed to cut a lot of unnecessary calories!

Fill up your tank. If you’ll eat a mini-meal that’s healthy and filling before a party, you’ll be less likely to over-eat those creamy dips, cheese and crackers, and meatballs covered in sauce. Going to a party when you’re starved, just like the grocery store, is never a good idea! 

Plan your Resistance.  Think beforehand how you’ll handle all the suggestions to load your plate up again, or what to say to people like your Aunt Kate who thinks you really need one more piece of pie. You’ll feel a lot more prepared to stand your ground.  At the same time, let yourself  have a desert or treat, but limit it to ONE and slowly enjoy every delicious bite!   Do you really crave certain foods, like sweets or salty crunch?  Contact me and I'll send you my Best U article on cravings, what they mean and how you can turn a negative into a positive reaction!

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Bring your own. Prepare one or two healthy, flavor-filled side dishes that you love to eat and take them to your next get-together.  Your host will be happy for the extra food and you’ll get to practice your culinary skills!

Make a plate. Instead of grazing at the hors d'oeuvres table, just go ahead and make a plate so you can have a better measure of what and how much you’re actually eating. Nutritional              psychologists tell us that using smaller plates and bowls actually  help us eat less.

Embrace a plant-based diet.  Making fiber-filled veggies more of a centerpiece of your diet, with much smaller portions of meat and other foods, will help you get through the holiday season without the usual weight gain and bloat - and strengthen your immune system with all those antioxidants to stave off sickness. You'll also have a lot more energy and feel like going to that exercise class!

Drink one, chase one. For every glass of wine or alcohol you drink, drink one large glass of water. This will both fill you up and help you track how much you're drinking, because calories count, whether they’re in food or liquids. Water is always the most important drink to put in your body, and not getting enough hampers your metabolism and immune system.

Prioritize sleep.  Settling in for that good night’s sleep is crucial for your body's restoration, rejuvenation and repair. If you want a kickin’ metabolism, balanced hormones, and less age lines on your face, sleep should be your best friend!  If you or someone you love has sleep issues, check out this amazing  Fresh Air segment on why sleep is crucial and how you can get your healthy share!


Reach out!  Not wanting to appear needy can stop us                                                                                                                           from making wonderful connections with others at a                                                                                                                           time of year when it's easy to feel like an outsider.                                                                                                                                  Just remember, we are here for each other and                                                                                                                                         everyone has had  to reach outside their comfort                                                                                                                                     zones at different times in their lives. And maybe you                                                                                                                           can be the "connector' for someone else who needs a                                                                                                                             friend.  Just keep your eyes, ears and heart open!

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Share the season of brotherly love with yourself first.  Be compassionate and kind to YOU.  Practice self-care by starting the day with 10 minutes of mini-trampolining, a walk outside, stretching while deep-breathing, a green smoothie - just a few ideas that can help set the tone for your day. And then 3 to 4 days a week, pencil yourself in your calendar: take a yoga class, get in a workout at the gym or a hike in the park, or give yourself the present of a massage. These are reminders that you and your health are important, and this is what changes our mindset to create a healthier life. When you feel better, you enjoy others more - and isn’t that what we want to do over the holidays and all year round?

Want more tips like these? Sign up for my                                                                                                                                            bestUwellness Monthly Newsletter at the                                                                                                                                          bottom of this page,  and start living your best life!

Best U Specials!

Want a gift that keeps on giving?   For a limited time I have great special prices on all my Holistic Health and Nutrition programs which helps make it easier than ever to get thru the holidays without the weight gain and with a brand new healthy attitude going into 2018!  $75 off my 6-month to Your Best U! program, $25 off my 90-day Energy Recharge program and $25 on my 5-week Detox Divas/Dudes Program.  If you're looking for a Personal Trainer in Nashville, right now is the best time to get started with me--$75 discount on a package of 10 sessions.  And any of these would make awesome gifts for someone you love, I can even send a wrapped up gift certificate to your special one!

Needing some healthy inspiration in your work place?  I love doing speaking engagements and have some awesome content to keep people healthier and happier in the work place!   Contact me, I'd love to help you be your Best U!

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Be Well!--Carol (and  Rob, Savannah, Dillon, Drew and Henry!)