Dear Sugar Fiend, Here’s Five Ways To Crush The Craving.

Well. No WONDER we’re all addicted to sugar. It’s in EVERYTHING. For real. According to the USDA’S US Consumption of Caloric Sweeteners, in 2011 the average American consumed 76.7 pounds of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and other sweeteners annually. I feel sick just thinking about it. Mainly, because I would bet good money that in 2011, I consumed MORE sugar than the average American. Well, maybe not 2011. But definitely in 2010. I know I hadn’t yet taken ownership of my health in 2010.

And then I found this infographic. Their sources are listed at the bottom, and they’re saying American’s consume 130 pounds of sugar annually. Good Lord.


Nursing Your Sweet Tooth~~

And, isn’t it wonderful to know that sugar is just as addictive as cocaine? Ah, warm fuzzies.

Ok, so to crush sugar cravings…


  1. Get some sleep.
    As in eight hours of high-quality sleep. Nightly. Your body needs REM sleep to grow and repair from the day’s stress. When we don’t get enough sleep, our metabolism and health suffer. And then we reach for sugar to keep us awake.
  2. Eat real food.
    A novel concept, I know. Eat real food at every meal. But I’ll get a little specific here. Have some protein – turkey, chicken, or fish. Have some fat – like coconut oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, or avocado. Have some fiber – kale, spinach, apple, plum, banana, or snap peas.
  3. Use condiments. 
    Have a plethora of condiments readily available to flavor your food and drinks. Put them on a lazy-Susan in your dining room and play! Put as much cinnamon as you can stand on any and all of your foods. It does wonders to decrease inflammation and stabilize blood sugar. I like using gomasio instead of salt and coconut aminos instead of soy sauce for savory flavors. To avoid the real and fake sugars in salad dressings, I’ve found olive oil (or grapeseed oil) with pepper is surprisingly tasty! Who knew? Go into it with an open mind, keep it fun, and play around!
  4. Spoil yourself.
    Eat really nourishing foods and drinks 90 percent of the time. And the other 10%? Give yourself permission to thoroughly enjoy the moment and “be bad”. Ooooh. You rebel. Just be sure to invest in your badness. So when you are off eating chocolate, be sure it’s uber-high quality luxury chocolate and NOT the wax-filled wannabe chocolate at the checkout line.
  5. Decide that you’re bigger than your craving.
    Realize your craving popped up. Drink some water or tea. Know you’re going to give yourself 10 minutes before you act on your craving. Start in on a project – anything from filing papers to starting a bath, from knocking out a few emails to a home-improvement project, from stepping outside for a few breathes of fresh air to reconnecting with that higher version of yourself for clarity of purpose. Do something other than dwell on your craving.

Want more on kicking cravings?

Let’s schedule a 1-on-1 (in person or over-the-phone) strategy session to help you get clear on your next steps.


All the Best To Your Health And Happiness!




The 70 Emotions of Cancer-Heritage: My Story

As a coach, I feel it is important for you to know my story. And this is a way of sharing my past like no other.

(Thank you Ashley Ambirge for the format!)




When my Grandma Hill was diagnosed with cancer a year before my birth.



When I was born in 1981, without crying, due to baby pneumonia.



When the overnight nurse stayed way past her shift to make sure I was alright. More than once. I still have the framed blessing she gave to my parents for me.



When seven days later I was able to leave with my Mom and Dad to the 160-acre hobby farm we called home.



When I told my parents I was getting a sister named Nikki with brown hair and brown eyes just like me.



When my four-year-old-self told the judge, “Yes I want her as my sister,” at the adoption hearing.



When I ate farm-fresh, home-grown, home-cooked food for the first five years of my life.



When I “finally” started having homework to do.



When I learned my Dad’s first wife and infant daughter were killed by a drunk driver.



When my Grandma Hill made her famous carmel rolls.



When she started using crutches because her left leg bones were deteriorating.



When I would sneak brownies and cookies while the parentals weren’t looking.



When she died, malnourished and starved.



When in fifth-grade I wrote, “Sisu: Strong-Willed One” and dedicated it to her memory. A+ work per Mrs. Berglund.



When I gave my Dad permission to borrow my college fund for the farm.



When two friends pulled me aside on the playground to inform me I was bleeding through my  jeans. And when, the next month, I bled through again and added nearly passing out on the choir bleachers to the ordeal.



When I couldn’t get my ears pierced because if God wanted more holes in my body He would have put them there. He also didn’t want me to have painted nails.



When I kept winning Grand Champion trophies and trips to the Minnesota State Fair for my swine-showing skills.



When I had my first underage beer, thanks to a friend sneaking two cans into the house.



When I held animals for neutering and clipping.



When I didn’t understand why I didn’t fit in.



When I got my first job off the farm, serving at Berchin’s A&W Family Restaurant.



When I won the title of “Dairy Princess”. Twice. And later, “Pork Ambassador”.



When my Grandma Carlson died at home.



When I learned my Grandpa Carlson had cancer when he was younger, but died from a stroke years later. And six-months after his bride.



When I lived on Diet Coke, chocolate chip cookies, and Twizzlers while throwing parties at the farm where it seemed like a hundred people showed up.



When I didn’t see my Grandpa Hill the weekend before I traveled to England.



When the call came in that he died and that I’d miss the funeral.



When my parents filed for bankruptcy.



When I thought I had to decide on a career, a college, and a program that would provide for the family.



When, after hundreds of hours, I chose to study actuarial science at Drake University because actuary was the top-ranked job according to U.S. News and Drake had one of the best programs.



When I started dating my very best friend. A boy named Brian.



When we went to my senior prom together. Especially after my junior year fiasco.



When I won more scholarships than anyone in my class.



When the first two girls I attempted to make conversation with at Drake snubbed me. HARD.



When my courses did not live up to my expectations of the stimulating learning experiences I desired and my roommate did not live up to the “you’ll meet your best girl friends in college” expectation.



When I joined the women’s rowing team.



When I would drive ten hours every other weekend to visit Brian at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. SO whipped!



When I transfered to a community college back home to do generals. And then took a semester off. Then transferred to UW-Eau Claire. And then did the whole loop over with a few more community schools added to the mix, starting with Drake. That’s five transfers in five years between just as many schools.



When I pulled my stellar resume together: great GPA, great community service, great recommendations. All set to join the real world.



When the only job offer I had available to me was as an overnight assistant manager at Wal-Mart.



When I graduated from UW-Eau Claire’s Entrepreneur Program in 2005, weighing in at 212 pounds on a 5’7″ frame.



When my Great-Aunt Julia, my Grandma Hill’s sister, died from breast cancer in February 2007.



When my Uncle John, who was originally going to be the minister for our wedding, died from cancer in May 2007. He was a favorite. As was Julia.



When we said, “I do” on July 28, 2007. I weighed 227 pounds. ON. MY. WEDDING. DAY.



When we bought our home in October 2007.



When, in 2010, I found out Lexis-Nexus had added two felonies to my background report in 2003 that weren’t mine.



When I found out my Dad had bladder cancer.



When his doctor said it was due to the pesticides used on the farm.



When I quit working for an employer who would hardly work for himself.



When Brian challenged me to go wherever I needed to go and do whatever I needed to do to build the career of my dreams.



When I journeyed solo from Wisconsin to Arizona with site-seeing stops at the Rocky Mountain National Park and the Royal Gorge before setting up shop to gain residency and rock ASU’s Global Health program.



When I flew back home for Brian’s 30th birthday weighing 35-pounds less than when he’d seen my last.



When I called the ambulance to rush myself to the hospital.



When I realized that at least this happened while I was home.



When the ER doctor said my blood work was serious to the point I could die if they were unsuccessful in getting my numbers down.



When I was told I could now eat whatever I wanted, two days after having my gall bladder removed.



When I discovered the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and stayed up until 4 a.m. reading every last page of their website. (Thank you Derek and Amanda!)



When I enrolled in IIN as soon as they opened for the day. And then trashed my ASU application.



When I moved back home to Wisconsin from Arizona in the dead of winter because Loki, our four-year old puppy I chose from the humane society was on her last days. Weighed in at 152.5 pounds on my last day in the AZ.



When I brought my Mom to the hospital to have her skin cancer removed.



When I moved into my office.



When my Dad changed, and then I gained 15 pounds.



When my Mom moved forward.



When I got my first tattoo in my Grandma Hill’s handwriting. I’m inked with “sisu” a Finnish word my Grandpa Hill used to describe my Grandma Hill. It means strength of will, determination, perserverance against all odds.



When we celebrated my IIN graduation with my family and closest friends.



When I discovered the focus of my practice – upgrading cancer legacies.



When two days later I opened an email for a Center for Advancement in Cancer Education (CACE) lecture in Eau Claire.



When I completed a cancer support educator training hosted by CACE in Philadelphia two weeks later.



When I look around now at all the people I’ve connected with, at all the support I have, at all the resources available, at all the people I’m serving, I’m absolutely loving, LOVING the magic of life! Knowing that my work makes a real difference and carefully weaves and pulls every experience from my life together is empowering. (And those 15 pounds…they’re already on the way out!)



That said, I have a smackerel of advice.

Be brave.

Get to know and trust yourself.

Face your fears.

Get comfortable in uncertainty.

Forgive your past.

And for the love, chose happiness, chose health, and chose you.



The Secret to Fighting Cancer with Your Lifestyle Choices


Keeping it simple tonight, with shout outs to three places that know a secret or two about fighting cancer with nutrition:

  1. Chris Beat Cancer
    At 26 Chris was diagnosed with cancer. He had surgery, refused chemo, and changed his lifestyle. This is his story.

  2. Dr. Colin T. Campbell
    The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health.
    “For more than forty years, Dr. T. Colin Campbell has been at the forefront of nutrition research. His legacy, the China Project, is the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted.”
    Seriously, go check it out.

  3. BeatCancer.Org (The Center for Advancement in Cancer Education – CACE)
    Admittedly, the website leaves much to be desired. That said, the way CACE adheres to its mission – “To provide research-based education on how to prevent, cope with, and beat cancer through diet, lifestyle and other immune-boosting approaches” is solid.
    See what their clients have to say.
Image source:

Six Must-Have Accountability Partners for Do-It-Yourself Weight Loss

1. The Digital Scale
That’s right! The scale IS YOUR NUMBER ONE accountability partner. Every morning (after you use the bathroom and before you eat or drink anything), get naked and hop on the scale with great anticipation of your success.
EVERY. MORNING. Why? Because you’ll start making healthier choices in your every day life when you know you’re weighing-in every morning.
2. The Competitive Buddy
Find one. This is a person you know who is already working towards a goal you’d like to achieve. She’s doing the lifestyle-changing work you know you SHOULD be doing.
Let her know you’re starting to do the same. Tell her you’re proud of what she’s accomplished, and mean it. Then, look forward to showing off your fabulous self the next time you see her.
3. The Weight-Loss Goal
Specific, measurable…blah, blah, blah. No. Think BIG PICTURE here. What do YOU want to weigh? And WHEN do you want to be at your IDEAL weight? Choose your weight. Choose your date.
4. The Weight-Loss Reward
Bribery works. Have FUN with it! Ask yourself this question: When I reach my ideal weight by my CHOSEN DATE, how do I want to reward myself?
Then get your reward all set-up to enjoy. Go out and buy a “goal shirt” or “goal pants” and hang them in your closet so you see them every day. Schedule that boudoir session, day at the spa, hair cut and color, sky dive experience, or whatever your weight-loss reward may be on your CHOSEN DATE.
(Chosen date = date you will reach your ideal weight.)
5. The Cheerleader
ALWAYS 100% on your side and constantly telling you how great you’re doing. And you’re going to need this person because being so damn critical of yourself is a hard habit to break. It’s time to upgrade that inner voice. Authentically. Cheerleaders of choice? Your significant other, your best friend, and your Facebook peeps. 
Be brave and let them in on your weight-loss goal/ideal weight, chosen date, and weight-loss reward. Tell them that you need them to tell you how great you’re doing (after all, no one here is a mind-reader). They’ll be singing you praises left and right.
6. The In-Your-Face Progress Board
Ok, board is a little extravagant. Half of an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper will do the trick. But, we’re DIY-ers here, so let’s be honest. You’re going to fancy-up this progress board. (You creative diva, you.)
Here’s the In-Your-Face Progress Board must-track details:
  • Heading with: your start date, starting weight, ideal weight, your chosen date
  • Subhead with: your total number of pounds to lose, the number of pound you need to lose every week to reach your ideal weight by your chosen date, and the number of pounds you need to lose every day to reach your idea weight by your chosen date
  • Then make a row for every day between your start date and your chosen date. In every row include:
    • The day’s date
    • The day’s goal weight (i.e. the weight you need to be TODAY in order to reach your ideal weight on schedule)
    • Your actual weight

You better recognize! (Your story, that is.)


The past is this strange thing that we like to look back on and live through again.

And again.

And again.

And so what happened in our past continues to make an appearance in our present, again.

And again.

And again.

Especially if the story of our past is one of hurt, loss, heartache, insecurity, judgement, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, etc., etc., etc. That pain is what we know. That pain is familiar.

That pain is the bullshit story we keep telling ourselves. And that is the story that rears its known, familiar head any time we begin to take ownership, any time we begin to do something differently than we have in the past, anytime we are at peace in our lives and, dare I say it, HAPPY.

That story returns.

And it returns because of all stupid things, we’re comfortable feeling bad.

(I’ll let that sink in.)

We are COMFORTABLE feeling bad.


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