Tag Archives: diet

If You Want to be Healthy, Align your Goals and Values

My latest piece for Thrive Global!

If you want to be healthy you must find a goal that your values support, and that is authentically YOU! Look at what is driving you to change your current situation, because if you are honest…skinny isn’t it.



Photo by Alexandre Chambon




This is the end; this is the beginning.

Another wonderful piece from Holly! In two weeks a group of amazing women will join me in fighting for their health and happiness for 365 days! For one full year we will be working on self-love and healthy choices. When I was asked to design a program to take these women to the next level I felt immense gratitude, and if I am honest-a bit overwhelmed. It would be easy to stick to what I know…12 weeks, 3 months…it works! My program indoctrinates my students into a healthy lifestyle and teaches them how to keep choosing their own health and happiness. I am pretty sure none of these women expected me to come back with this proposition: One year. What was amazing to me, and so inspiring, is how quickly they all responded with “YES”! If they are willing to fight for their own health, willing to keep working hard every damn day…then I can step out of my box, feel the fear, and take these women on a journey that I know will change all of our lives. For 365 days 8 women will choose health, happiness and most importantly… self-love. This is the end and it is the beginning, because “there is no there there”, there is only the journey.

Holly GoWritely

February 28th vs May 5th February 28th vs May 5th

One week ago today, I completed a three month commitment to weight-loss and improving my overall health and wellness. For me, the end of the Happy Body Project is met with mixed emotions. On one hand, I am radiating with pride over all that I have accomplished. I have lost 40 pounds, and countless inches (I say countless because stupidly I didn’t start measuring until 1/3 of the way through the program). I have also dropped two dress sizes. Most importantly though, I am armed with the tools and knowledge that will keep me on the road to success.

In other ways, the end is bitter sweet.  I have shared my inner most feelings of shame and struggle with the women in this group – and they have shared their inner most feelings of shame and struggle with me. In the short period of just…

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Group Coaching: Happy Body Project


What is the Happy Body Project?

The Happy Body Project is a five-month journey toward discovering your healthiest YOU! On weekly calls, we will talk about whole, real foods, hydration and movement but, more importantly, we will explore self-care, self-love, body acceptance, gratitude and being present and showing up to live your best life.

The Happy Body Program is about designing a foundation that will carry you through a healthy life filled with energy and vitality. It is rooted in self-love, healthy lifestyle choices, resilience, gratitude, education, and a growth mindset.

The ideal Happy Body Project participant is someone who is ready to break-up with the scale, never diet again, and who simply wants to feel and look better! I am looking for women who have decided their current circumstances are no longer acceptable, and they are motivated and inspired to be the best version of themselves.

I spent most of my life being overweight, so I understand the overwhelming desire to be skinny. But, trust me when I tell you that your goal must be good health and you must appreciate that this process takes time. You already know that there is no quick fix, or you would have found it by now.

In order to become a healthy person, you will need to make this program a priority and living a healthy life will soon become your passion. These five months will be work and just like anything in life you will have highs and lows, good days and bad days, but with this program you will also have support. I can’t do this for you, but I can do it with you!

While this program is not for everyone, I’m immensely proud of the women that I’ve helped. What is the key to success on this journey? The women who have succeeded share three things in common:

  1. They are Accountable: They stop blaming others for their circumstances and they own their stories.
  2. They are Coachable: It takes a strong person to accept help and trust the process and a coach.
  3.  They are Resilient: When they fail they do not give up, they go on!

Here is what you can expect when you sign up for the

Happy Body Project:

  • A small group of women with similar goals

  • Weekly group coaching –calls are 1 hr in length

  • You will be matched with an Accountability Partner

  • Complete Health History with me, including personalized suggestions

  • Direct access to me via texting & email

  • Secret & private Facebook Group that will provide you with 24/7 support! A place for sharing thoughts, milestones, setbacks, tips, ideas. A place to just be YOU!

  • Recipes, food shares

  • Complete confidentiality

  • And so much more!

You have nothing to lose but weight, unhealthy habits & excuses! You will gain self-confidence, power, knowledge, energy and a renewed relationship with real, whole, healthy foods! Support, guidance, healthy habits and friendships are all right here in one place! Together we will bridge the gap between who you are and who you believe you can be.

This is not a diet, but an introduction to living and maintaining a  healthy lifestyle. You already know there are no quick fixes, so let’s stop looking for those and just get busy living an optimal, healthy life and we might as well have a little fun doing it…together!

If you want change you must make changes! The keys to succeeding are:

  1. Commit! Just decide it is time
  2. BELIEVE in yourself
  3. Hold yourself accountable. One day at a time, becomes one month, becomes one year, and before you know it you are eating clean and living your most optimal life!

The Happy Body Project is a 5 month program, join today and step into your healthy!

Email me if you would like more information, or if you are simply ready to commit!

good food. good life.



Own Your Story


When I started changing the way I ate, and blogging about healthy foods, it seemed way WAY to disgusting to admit I had weighed close to 250 lbs. I actually never lied, I just didn’t tell the whole truth.

Much the same thinking I approached my eating disorder with. If I didn’t talk about it, I didn’t admit it, then maybe it didn’t really happen. These photos tell a different story, they tell the truth. Honestly as I look at these I think I was probably over 250 lbs at some point, but my guess is I handily avoided the scale and all Dr.’s visits during this period. I know I was well into the 280’s pregnant, but I don’t think this really counts. This isn’t denial, I just never felt bad about being heavier pregnant. After two miscarriages prior to my first-born I wasn’t going to give one single “pregnancy pound” a second thought. I also felt “released” from dieting, and finding the magic potion. That felt incredible.

There are not many photos of me at this weight…the “delete” button is an amazing gift when you don’t want to be held accountable and you are actively erasing history as you go.  If I don’t see it, and you don’t see it, then it didn’t really happen!  But it did.

I have showed these photos to several people and I am always amazed to hear, “Oh please, you had just had a baby!” Ummm….really? I am holding a 11 month old!!! I always want to say, “Is this what you looked like 11 months after having a child?” I think not.

It has been a lifetime of punishing myself, hiding from the elephant in the room, and hoping the right “diet” or “pill” would miraculously transform me into a super model overnight and then I could get busy living.

So the day I had to input my starting weight into MyFitnessPal I decided to put the weight I was that year. And that is ok. It was what I weighed. But I never fessed up to all those supporting me, or asking me for advice, that I had actually been much heavier. Skinny people reading this might be thinking what is the big deal? But heavy people, struggling with their weight-loss will understand why it was a breach of trust. In a way, I was posing. Pretending to have a little more self-control, to be a little bit less of a glutton than others.

Most people would think when you are losing weight you want to get credit for Every. Single. Pound. That is the difference between a normal person looking to lose some weight and an addict. I was hiding a gross, disgusting, nasty laps in self-control. No one I was meeting going forward was going to know how big I had been.

But as I started to realize I could never erase my past, as I stepped out of the shadows of the “old me”, the me I hated, truly loathed….I had to drop the cloak. I had to stand completely naked (metaphorically people, there are different websites for that) in the middle of the room and own all of my faults. I had to wrap a warm blanket of love and forgiveness around that sad, lonely, empty girl and tell her it was going to be ok. In order to do that there could be no lies.

I am a compulsive overeater battling a very real disease on a daily basis, and my heaviest, non-pregnancy, documented weight was 244 pounds.

At 244 pounds I was obese.  A BMI of 37.1.

What’s in a number? For a compulsive overeater, the truth. The truth is what is in that number. Until you are honest with yourself, there is zero chance of longterm success. Until you look in the mirror and accept where you are, and I realize how painful and impossible this will feel, I know…but until you are able to own where you are today, and start loving the person you see in the mirror today, I can promise you you will never get better. You cannot outrun any addiction. You must heal, and that takes self-compassion and love. A kind of love that no one else can provide for you, it must come from deep inside of you where the pain lies, and once it starts growing you will be unstoppable.

I am Jennifer, I am @HappyBodyFood, and this is my journey from unhealthy to healthy…but more truthfully this is my journey from self-hate, to self-love.

Happy Body Project

The Happy Body Project makes getting healthy fun! People always ask me how I lost weight, how I eat clean, and how I stay on track? What finally clicked for me that I was able to shift from years of bad habits and poor choices, to a life full of better choices, and self-love. The secrets to my success are the foundation of The Happy Body Project:  Community, support, small changes over time, small goals, crowding out the unhealthy, retraining the brain and resources!

But the MOST important secret is BELIEVING you are ready! I KNEW I was done with all the fads, gimmicks, ups and downs. I believed in myself and I knew there had to be a better way! Are you ready? Ready for a change! Ready to feel good, look your best, and put the cycle behind you? If you BELIEVE it is time to “just be healthy” join me for the Happy Body Project!

I am so fortunate to be able to work with individuals who struggle with emotional eating, sugar addiction and an overall desire to have a healthier relationship with food, it is my passion. Now I get to bring that program to people who can’t meet with me in person, but are still eager to change their relationship with food and be the best version of themselves. Together we are better and we are stronger!

Why Group Coaching Works

  1. SUPPORT: Group coaching gives you the opportunity to share your feelings with others and develop deeper connections, you have a personal support system from the get-go. On the days you want to quit, throw in the towel, or turn towards past behaviors you have a village to help keep you on track. Together we can empower one another, motivate one another, and simply support on another. Knowing you are not alone in your journey will help you develop the confidence and motivation to address your challenges and succeed.
  2. SUCCESS: A much higher likelihood of achieving goals! You’re much more likely to stick to your gym routine if you have a gym buddy, right? More likely to go hiking or take a jog if a friend is relying on you to show up? The same is true with group coaching. When individuals are part of a group, they procrastinate less, accomplish more, and reach their goals faster.
  3. RESOURCES: Benefit from the collective wisdom we all bring to the table. You’ll brainstorm solutions, open creativity channels, and uncover opportunities you may not have discovered working solo. Have you ever been in a study group where you’ve learned from a classmate who gets it? Other group members help you master new concepts like a pro! It is also an opportunity to see what works for others, and what has not. Each session will bring you new ideas & light-bulb moments you might not come up with on your own.
  4. PERSPECTIVE: Gain new perspectives through others. When you work alone, you examine situations from one perspective – yours. But when you work in a group, you’re exposed to a variety of insights that empower you to see a situation from multiple angles and motivate you to develop new solutions.
  5. VALUE: Get the same quality coaching my one-on-one program offers, but at a fraction of the cost of individual coaching. Group coaching is a smart and affordable way to receive top-notch guidance.
  6. A TEAM: When you work in a group, the whole team celebrates your successes. More importantly the whole team lifts you up hard days, and supports you when you may be feeling down. You have a safe place to just be honest and real, without worrying about judgement.
  7. FUN: Working with a group is a social event that participants look forward to. You’ll join a close-knit group that is energizing, motivating and most of all – fun! Group members often become lifelong friends.

For more information on joining the Happy Body Project: #HappyBodyProject or email me:





We LOVE Kiwis in our house! They make it into a smoothie or onto a snack plate almost everyday! Great news is they are #42 out of 48 on the EWG’s Shopper’s Guide which means you don’t HAVE to buy organic, always nice!

Have you ever just picked a kiwi up an bitten into it? Give it a try because you actually can eat the skin! Eating the skin TRIPLES the fiber, and preserves most of the Vitamin C. My kids even like the skin, whole or sliced, and that means less work for me!

Kiwis are also great frozen. Cut into little pieces they are similar to eating frozen grapes. When my kiwis start to turn bad I cut them into fourths and freeze them for smoothies.

This really is a simple, yet powerful fruit, to incorporate into your daily diets! ADDED BONUS, also a great low carb choice with a glycemic index of 52.

Everything you need to know about a kiwi from KiwiFruit.Org:

Kiwifruit is one of nature’s perfect foods: low in calories, high in energy and an excellent source of antioxidants. Each one delivers a world of nutrition benefits, including:

  • Vitamin C: Each serving of kiwifruit has nearly two-and-a-half times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, proven to boost the immune system and fight the effects of stress and aging.
  • No fat: Kiwifruit is fat-free, an important consideration in today’s healthy diets and a rarity among foods containing so many other nutritional benefits.
  • Fiber: Two kiwifruit contain more fiber than a bowl of bran cereal, the tasty way to maintain heart health, regular digestion and lower cholesterol.
  • Potassium: A serving of California Kiwifruit has more potassium than a banana, ideal for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance and for releasing energy during exercise.
  • Antioxidants: Kiwifruit is an excellent source of antioxidants which are important in reducing your risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke.
  • Low glycemic index: With a glycemic index of 52, kiwifruit is a fat-free, low-carb fruit that’s safe for diabetics and a smart part of any weight-loss diet.
  • Magnesium: Two kiwifruit deliver 30 mg of magnesium, which improves nerve and muscle function while boosting your energy level.
  • Lutein: Kiwifruit contains the phytochemical lutein, which works to prevent age-related blindness and protect eyes from various kinds of damage.
  • Folate: With nearly 10% of the recommended daily value of folate, kiwifruit is a good way to protect the health of mother and baby during pregnancy while helping prevent birth defects.
  • Zinc: Men will appreciate kiwifruit’s zinc content, which helps produce testosterone, while everyone can enjoy its other benefits like healthy hair, skin, teeth and nails.
  • Vitamin E: Kiwifruit is one just a handful of fat-free sources of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that helps lower cholesterol and boost immunity.





KETO DELIVERED graciously asked me if I would be interested in taking a look at their product. I have been checking out their Insta @KetoDelivered for some time so I was all in! I have to say I am super impressed.

The packaging is awesome! Simple, but engaging.

Right away you see a recipe card. This one is for Garlic and Pepper Salmon which I will be making ASAP. Any recipe that is easy, quick and chalked full of flavor gets my attention. It also gave me a place to try the one product that gave me pause. More on that in a bit.

Next the contents.

Ok you just took a pause too? I know you did! Pork Lard. Wow, ok. Let me process. So eating Keto is all about embracing fat. I say it all the time, but let me say it one more time because I know so many people still do not believe it, “Fat does not make you fat.” Actually fat burns fat off at a rapid rate. I switch up how I eat, otherwise I would die of boredom, but eating a Keto diet is a big part of my life.

So once I moved passed the word “Lard” and read on, it made perfect sense. Most fats you cook with (coconut oil, ghee, grass-fed butter, MCT Oil, Avocado Oil, EVOO) have the same grams of fat, 14g, per Tablespoon and around 100 to 150 calories. Pork Lard is no different, 14g’s and 130 calories per serving. This is clean eating my friends. Two ingredients, Organic Pork Fat and Organic Rosemary Extract, no artificial colors, sweeteners or chemicals, and no preservatives. So if fat doesn’t make me fat, eating lard shouldn’t add to…well you feel me.

Fatworks Foods has some cool looking products, great recipes, and a good explanation of being “Defenders of Fat” on their website.

Next up were these Miracle Noodles which I was really excited to see were not made of soy. If you follow my Instagram @HappyBodyFood you have seen me make these (soy version). Sometimes a girl just wants noodles in a yummy sauce, without having to eat simple carbs. But most of the versions I have found are soy, not my favorite. These are three ingredients, purified water, Konjac Flour and Calcium Hydroxide. A few years ago when I was trying to figure out what Miracle Noodles were I read this great article from Wellness Mama. I love them and am excited to have the original noodle in my hot little hand!

What can I say, Nut Sack won us over! Read the label. When you have a 12 year old boy, and a husband, and houseguests, well this was a winner! And the nuts (sorry but I have to) tasted great! I love it when real food, flavor and humor all intersect. Life is so serious, this is a great way to bring in some smiles! If you want to win “Snack Mom of the year” with the pre-teen, or teen boys, or just bring some humor to the water cooler at work, this is the way to go! Let me add Brazil Nuts are the powerhouse in the world of nuts and who ever buys Brazil Nuts? So another win. Nice job Nut Sack, we like your nuts!

I’m currently off the sauce so I can’t even try this to report back, but Mr. Happy Body Food dove right in and loved Xanadu Coffee Company! I like that it supports a small batch coffee roaster in downtown Phoenix that specializes in micro-lots, direct trade coffee and hand roasting. I can’t even write anymore about it because all this coffee talk has me missing my morning Joe. Too bad I don’t do moderation better.

My girlfriend Kimberly and I broke right into these and just kept eating! YUMMY! A lot of times living foods taste, well, like the grass on the labels. I still eat them, but it is hard to pass them off on friends and family. The flavor of these was unreal! Super flavorful with a little kick (cumin & chili powder). Not one mystery ingredient. We ate them as is right out of the bag but while we were inhaling them we talked about how good they would be with a little cheese, or a dip, or fresh avocado. Mexican Harvest Flax Crackers were all cracker and no flax, and as much as I love flax, when it comes to a good cracker I really don’t want to be tasting it. These go on the grocery list!

Machaca Shredded Beef Jerky is the most intriguing of the items. I will keep you posted. The suggestion is to add to Huevos! I think the possibilities are endless! My husband is a beef jerky connoisseur so he has been trying to steal the bag, stay-tuned, I will keep you posted!

The back of the Keto Delivered recipe card has discounted offer codes for each product, as well as more information on each company. All in all I think Keto Delivered is a great investment. People who eat a certain style (Paleo, Keto, Vegetarian, Vegan, Whole 30) tend to get into their routines. Trust me, I know. You have a repertoire that works so you don’t venture too far. I really loved this Keto box because it was full of things that meet the Keto way of eating, but are all products I had never tried, and probably would not have tried. Change is good, and new things make staying healthy fun!

Check out their website, Keto Delivered and program! I’m a fan!

good food. good life.