Tag Archives: weightloss

My Client, Holly.

Follow this amazing woman as she fights for her health, joy and happiness on the Happy Body Food Program!




Confessionals and Hail Mary Poppins

Forgive me followers, for I have sinned. It has been two months of summer fun since my last confession. In that time, I have…

  1. Abused alcohol while travelling through Ireland with my husband, such that the contents of my sweat and tears is STILL roughly 37% Guinness.
  2. Used sex within marriage, but with absolutely, positively, holy-shit, OMG NO intent of procreating life.
  3. Deliberately ingested impure foods such as pasta, cake, s’mores, and soda bread.
  4. Permitted a couple of impure thoughts about Chris Pratt, but only after they announced their separation – so at the very least, it wasn’t completely adulterous…right?  Anyone?  Bueller?

Now that school is back in session, vacation time is over, and summer will soon start to fade into fall, I am happily returning to the comfort and structure of routine. While I remained committed to my health goals throughout the summer, and even managed to drop a couple of pounds, I was more prone to gluttony and indulgence than usual. I consumed more alcohol, swapped spin class for floating around my best friends pool, let go of any pressure I felt to publish any blog entries, and generally stuck to spending quality time with family and friends. It was a fun and memorable summer, and now it is time to get back to work.

Even though I am looking good and feeling even better, I need to keep reminding myself that I still have a long journey ahead of me. I have to pause and work up the courage to type this, but I still have almost 100lbs to lose before I can afford to kick back and thoroughly enjoy my success. As the milestones of success pile up, and I start to feel better and better about myself and how I look, it only gets more challenging to buckle down. Not that I have been going off the rails. I am absolutely confident that my old lifestyle will remain just that…my old lifestyle. It isn’t difficult for me to maintain my weight now, but it IS difficult to keep dropping. I really have to work for each and every pound – which is a big change from the initial 40lbs that came off so easily. The last 10lbs have been much slower, and much harder fought for.

Fighting for those pounds is easier when I’m back in my regular routine. I’m highly susceptible, it turns out, to the lure of a warm summer evening cocktail on the patio, or three, or eight. And most of my exercise comes in the form of floating around weightless in a pool…with more cocktails. In hindsight, I’m not entirely sure how I managed to maintain my weight this summer, let alone drop a couple of pounds. Miracle pounds is what they were – and all the more reason to get slightly uncomfortable again, push harder, and work for the gift of better health.

Although the summer was definitely more relaxed, it wasn’t without some significant wins. For example, I flew overseas in economy, and it didn’t even occur to me to be nervous about the seat-belt because those days are solidly behind me. I also buckled down and pushed myself to a record 130,000 steps Monday through Friday for one week in July (although I was proud of myself, I would not recommend this goal to other working moms with challenging commutes – while doable, there is precious little time for anything BUT walking). I had a few other small but significant wins while shopping in my own closet. Like my favorite white linen pants, I have always kept my absolute favorite items. I have packed them and unpacked them from place to place, which always made me a little sad – but it also must mean that I was holding onto hope that they would one day fit again. I am so glad that I did.  Here are some highlights…



dresses 2

In addition to the highlights above, I also lost another couple of pounds and a few more inches, which was great but difficult to put into context. Or, difficult until my health coach helped put it into perspective for me.  Jennifer sent me txt that read, “23.5 inches total, from when you started tracking.” The “from when you started tracking part” was because, unfortunately, I didn’t measure myself at the beginning – even though Jennifer explicitly told me to. I must not have truly believed this lifestyle would work, or that I would be able to find success  Anyway, while it’s too bad that I didn’t believe in myself enough to grab the exact metrics, it absolutely guarantees that since January 2017, I have lost over two feet of inches from my body. I did that. Me and my roadmap from Jennifer did THAT! I just high-fived myself!  It’s 7am on Saturday morning, and I am alone in my living-room, and I looked a little unstable doing it, but I high-fived the S out of myself.

But far and away the very best part of the summer was my trip to Ireland. And I don’t mean the actual trip, which was absolutely wonderful; I mean the prep and packing of outfits! While I love a good wedding, or gala, or 3 Michelin star dinner, these types of events are also a great source of anxiety for me. I really care about what I look like. I love clothing and fashion and design – but I have never felt comfortable in my own body and have had serious limitations on where I can shop for clothing, so have never truly felt beautiful at an event, or at work, or on a date night. Ugh…that makes me so sad to think about how much time I have spent over the years worrying about how I am going to look, or what I am going to wear to a friends wedding, or my own wedding, or the holiday party, or a birthday party, or to target, or the bank, or the kitchen for a glass of water. When I was single, it was arguably worse.  At least now I’ve snared a man, I would think. When an event, like a wedding, was months away, I would start planning on how much weight I would lose beforehand, and how great I would look and feel if I could buckle down and just DO IT! Inevitably, though, the stress and pressure of trying to drop dress sizes before an event would only lead to gaining wait instead of losing it – followed by feelings of shame and self-loathing – and then finally ending up sweating over some outfit that wasn’t up to my expectations, shoes that I would have to take off 1/2 way through the event, and generally feeling uncomfortable in my own skin until I was sauced enough to leave it all on the dance floor and have a great time. What a waste! How I wish that I could have seen myself as the world sees me, and loved myself enough to take better care of the one vessel and one life that I’ve been gifted. At the same time, I am so grateful for Jennifer and the path that she has helped put me on.  A path that ensures that I will never ever go back to my old life again.

This time, it was different. While I was still a little anxious about what I would wear to my cousins wedding in Ireland, I was grounded in the fact that I had finally achieved what I could never manage before. I wasn’t just a couple of pounds down before this event, I was 24+ inches and 50 pounds down.  And more importantly, my insides were matching my outsides. It makes me tear up just typing that. Out of all of the wins that I have enjoyed this year, this was by far the best. My insides matched my outsides, and both were beautiful.

The wins started with the typically painful process of finding a dress to wear to the wedding. I have never been able to wear my best friends clothing. Like, not even once. So when we were at her pool one afternoon and she suggested that I go surfing through her closet to find something, I was immediately resigned to the fact that nothing would fit. We selected three dresses to try – none of which were particularly A-line, which is the only shape that has ever worked for me. Even as I was slipping each dress over my body, I was sure they wouldn’t zip up in the back. But not only did they zip up, they each looked great! So great that I couldn’t decide and took them all home to play fashion show for Craig. I ended up settling on a black wool (summer in Ireland is still Ireland) Calvin Klein dress in a fit and flare shape. You read that correctly – fit and FLARE!  The last thing I usually want my ass to do is flare! Fit and camouflage is more my speed. Anyway, the dress looked great, and I was happy.  And because I borrowed a dress, I figured that gave me license to procure a new pair of shoes – so off to Nordstrom I went.

Historically, shoes are the next hurdle, after the dress is found. I used to wear heels and wedges all the time. Then something happened post children where I gave up on them all together. Probably because I felt frumpy, and probably because wobbling around on anything but flats when you’re 300 pounds kinda frigging hurts! The last wedges I purchased were some kind of ‘high-comfort’ line, which….dear god….can someone make those cuter? They are the Nissan Leaf of the womens shoe industry. Sure, they’re practical – but they look like a nightmare! So when I walked into Nordstrom, and worked up the courage to tip toe into the designer shoe section, it was a big deal. I was fresh off of my dress win, but still fairly certain that the back patent Gucci loafers would be a bust. Even though the look I told Craig I was going for was naughty Irish nanny / Mischievous Mary Poppins, I was scared the loafers would make my feet look wide and my legs look to fat. Plus, I still wasn’t sure how to break it to Craig that I was hoping to spend THAT much on a pair of shoes. People…it was just like final scene in Cinderella – only my prince charming was a salesman, and my glass slipper was Gucci, yo! Like a glove, I tell ya! I brought them home and prepared a powerpoint presentation for Craig proving why these shoes were more important than the girls chances at a post secondary education. I put the entire outfit on and walked past my husband, who immediately agreed I should keep them. Not only did he agree that they were the naughty nanniest, when I asked for his opinion on black patent vs red patent, he told me that he couldn’t decide and that I should go back and get both. Lordy, did I burst into tears. I have longed for that feeling for tens of years, and it was even better than I thought it would be.

Of course, I did take Craig up on his offer and went back to Nordstrom the very next day. I didn’t end up buying the red ones, though. The red was too dark for me, and I didn’t want to completely overdo it and end up with buyers remorse – or worse, homeless. Instead, I decided to head upstairs to find the perfect super opaque black tights to go with my nanny costume. Now, it has been about 8 years since I last shopped for clothing in the normal section of Nordstrom.  I am usually a third floor shame section only kind of girl. You may or may not be familiar. If you are, then you know that flitty dance that you do, like you’re just there to look at kids shoes…and then you ghost yourself across the walkway into the “Encore” section – where the last thing the women shopping there are hoping for is an encore performance in the encore section. Believe me, we would much rather the Encore section be a one hit wonder section. But before I made it to the escalator, a top in the normal womens section caught my eye. Maybe it was because I was on such a roll that I decided to detour and sift through the pretty merch.  And I am SO glad that I did. Not only did I walk out with that pretty top, but three tank tops, one sweater, one suit jacket, a pair of boyfriend jeans, two adorable baby-doll tops, a pair of skinny jeans, and a FREE PEOPLE top! Their slogan should be “for free people; not fat people.”

I was over the moon. I have never been more excited for a trip! I folded and unfolded my new clothing. I paired things with stack-able bracelets, statement necklaces, and cocktail rings. I practiced rolling the sleeves of my suit jacket, and pairing it with a crisp white tank top, rolled up boyfriend jeans, and about a bajillion jewels (and, of course, my multi-purpose Gucci loafers). I didn’t dare take the tag off and wear anything before our trip. I wanted to unpack a fresh and fabulous outfit for every day I was travelling. And that’s exactly what I did. Starting with the big event. The wedding.

For me, the final woeful moments of any event has got to be the primping stage. I usually spend the day hoping, wishing, and praying that whatever mumu I brought will fit. I try in earnest to at least make my hair look great, in hopes that it will distract from what lies beneath my neck. I blow dry, and then I sweat from the heat, which frizzes up my hair.  And then I pull and wiggle and jump up and down to get my dress on, which makes me sweat again, and further frizzes up my hair. Then I tell whomever is within whining distance that I don’t even want to go to the ____ anyway. And then someone hands me a “dresser” martini, which is enough liquid courage to get me out the door and on my way to dancing queen-level intoxication.

I have never been so calm, so dry, and so blissful before an event. Not even 20mins under a blow-drier could shake my zen. My makeup was flawless. My hair conservative AF! My dress floated over my body. And my shoes. My god, my shoes. I pranced across cobble stones, gave a damned fine reading, glided across the dance floor, and generally stood in absolute merriment from 1:00pm-11:00pm.  An Irish wedding that ended at 11pm, you croon??? We are nothing, if not professional boozers. Gurl, pleaze, we ditched the car and the parents back at our vacation rental and hit the pubs until 4am. ireland

The rest of the trip was a repeat of new locations, new outfits, and completely doing my hair and makeup every single day. I felt proud to be on Craig’s arm everywhere we went. And I felt like Craig was proud, too. I felt so good that I even ditched the Lululemon for the 10 hour flight home, and instead opted for skinny jeans and my free people top. It didn’t stop there, either. Since being back, I have quaffed, rolled, jujed, painted, and bedazzled my way into each day (except for today, when we had two soccer games in a 100 degree field). And not in a fake-it till you make-it kind of way. I am making it, and it feels fabulous!


Happy Body Project: New Group


Announcing the next Happy Body Project May 9th, 2017

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 Tuesday, 12 noon to 1:30 pm PST (Next group begins May 9th, 2017) SOLD OUT! Please contact me if you would like to be wait-listed for the next class.

  • 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.

Read Testimonials Here

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 being healthy people, and we might as well have a little fun doing it together!

If you want change you must be willing to 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, a healthy life, for the REST of your life!

The Happy Body Project is a 12 week program, join today and take charge of your health!

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

Read Facebook Reviews Here

good food. good life.




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.




My individual clients, as well as my Happy Body Project members, have given me so much wonderful feedback. Here are some of their thoughts, and experiences, in their own words. I find it so empowering that none of them mention their actual pounds lost when my Happy Bodies have collectively lost hundreds of pounds. It really does prove when you love yourself, care for yourself, and choose to be a Healthy Person the transformation you experience is so much greater than the pounds lost! Those pounds end up being a really nice added bonus as the new “healthy” you takes shape!


“Before I even knew the Universe had my back I stumbled upon Jennifer and the Happy Body Project at just the right time. I was living a lie, projecting happiness but feeling miserable. I thankfully started reading Holly’s blog just when my tolerance for my own BS was was at an all time low. I just needed to be free from decades of self abuse and self loathing. I wanted out but I had no idea how to get there. Then I read Holly’s blog What A Girl Wants.

I read Holly’s words like they were my own. Her honesty and bravery inspired me to be honest and brave. I tracked down Jennifer’s website and wrote her an email. After I sent it I cried, because maybe this would finally be my way out. I wanted Jennifer to fix me.

I very quickly learned that that wasn’t going to happen. Jennifer could not fix me, I must fix myself. Jennifer provided the framework for me to “get real” and tackle life long issues, while promoting self love and empowerment. I got myself into this mess and I would get myself out. Once that really sunk in, I was free! I am strong; I am loved; I am a healthy person!!!

Every week we build ourselves anew. Even when I had setbacks; hard days; days I felt so sorry for myself I could only cry, Jennifer would remind me that only I have the power to turn things around, make myself stronger, prove I have resilience and drive and unabashed amazingness! Which I do!

I started the Happy Body Project weighing 271.8 pounds on my 5’3” frame my BMI was over 46 and I was racing towards a life of disease and an early death.

It has been just over 6 months now and I am 198 pounds, over 70 pounds lost and I am now racing towards a new future. I have started a new business and I have ZERO doubt I will lose over 100 pounds because of Jennifer’s guidance.

The one thing I want to tell everyone who reads this, and sees themselves in this is…YOU are strong. You are loved. You can do this! Don’t waste another day in your beautiful precious life. Be a healthy person! 💚”

~Chrissy McIntyre

“Not only has Jennifer changed my life, but she has also likely saved my life. She has given me the roadmap and tools to find the health and vitality that I have been seeking for, after so many years of trying and failing. Never again. This is not a diet. It is a trans-formative and full circle approach into the depth of your being. It is an awakening, a journey – and it is easily the most powerful and life-changing decision I have ever made.

I am a healthy person. How do you thank a person for that?”

~Holly VonDemfange

Read More of Holly’s Journey to Health here:


“I quite honestly can’t recommend the HBP enough. Jennifer is THE person that you want to take this journey of emotional and physical transformation with. She demonstrates the perfect balance between nourishing your soul, educating your mind, and keeping it real with her no-nonsense attitude. This program is the best thing I could have done for myself, after years of trying to figure my own stuff out without success. I’m now lighter in spirit, love myself more, and know what to do to take care of myself properly. I can’t thank you enough, Jennifer!!” 

~Vicky B.

“There is no easy way to describe Jennifer as a coach except as “life changing”. I have done every “diet”, plan, formula… you name it. I subscribed to the Diet Monday mentality… she has truly opened me up, jumbled my whole process and made me look at it through a microscope. This isn’t just a health program, its a game changer. She is tough but loving, she’s the captain everyone should have on their ship. I adore this woman and am thankful for her everyday. My health is on a trajectory that its never had!”

~Annelise H.

“Jennifer has changed my life in every way. Her energy and her passion for helping people achieve their health goals know no bounds. She is extremely knowledgeable and compassionate, and not afraid to tell it like it is. I am a healthy person because of Jennifer. I highly recommend her.”

~Caryn W.

“Happy Body Food was life changing for me. I had a hard time rationalizing money to something I already knew I needed to do, and believed I knew how to do. Eat healthy, exercise… and lose weight…I knew the drill. I had a gym membership, therapy and knowledge.. all the tools I thought I needed. Boy was I wrong. The coaching I received from Jennifer 1:1, and within the Happy Body Project class, changed the relationship I have with myself and my health. Jennifer has an incredible way of listening and supporting, but most importantly guiding and teaching in the areas where you need it most. Jennifer doesn’t let you off the hook, and she forces you to dig deep, especially in the areas you want to skip over. I made huge leaps in my understanding of what was holding me back and in my willingness to do the work. It all comes together and you become a healthy person, living the Happy Body Food life. If you are thinking about working with Jennifer I STRONGLY encourage you to take the first step and sign up! You are worth investing in your health and this is not like anything you have tried before. That first step is all it takes, Jennifer will help you identify the rest of the path that lies ahead of you…and she will support you while YOU do the work! I wish you a happy, healthy life!”

                                                                                                        ~Cori D.,

43 single mother of a 3 year old, working full time and any other excuse for a busy life….

“I lost a lot of things by joining the Happy Body Project–including weight, old insecurities and nasty self talk. What I found instead was support, accountability and life changing new habits. I am grateful to Jennifer for helping me find a healthier, happier way to live. An amazing journey, one I will continue to stay on for the rest of my life!”

                                                                                                            ~Stephanie P.

“When I thought about the Happy Body Project I immediately thought to myself, “I just had weight loss surgery I’m going to do this on my own.” But the more I thought about it I figured It could only help. I have known Jennifer for years and watched her journey so I knew she had overcome something I had not been able to get a handle on.

I didn’t jump in though, I tip-toed into the process and was hesitant, which I regret. It wasn’t until about week 3 when I was feeling better from eating real food that it began to click. I could see that this was actually something I could do, and wanted to do! I wanted to be healthy! I had never really tried because I didn’t know how to love myself. That is the hardest part, learning and working to love myself. Deciding I am worth fighting for.

The weekly calls are motivating, they connect the dots and it really helped me to know that others shared many of the same struggles. All the feedback, and support, helped tremendously. The homework made me slow down and think about what I want from this life, and my body. When week 12 rolled around I was feeling unstoppable and ready to tackle anything.

My advice to anyone considering the Happy Body Project is just jump in! It is the greatest gift you can give yourself! Once you start making the changes, the brain fog lifts, you can clear away your critical thoughts and get busy caring for yourself. Slowly everything takes a new shape. I am still using the tools Jennifer gave me, and will for the rest of my life. I also know she is a resource anytime I need to check-in, or get a dose of motivation, or help with an issue. Enjoy!”

~ Ashley B.

“The Happy Body Project gave me the opportunity to identify and explore what food is to me-how it fits in, how I use it, and how I can make it work to create and maintain a better, stronger me. Jennifer has provided coaching with compassion, empathy and true life realities. This has been so eye-opening, and life changing!”

~ Stacie W.

“Jennifer really helped me jumpstart my weight loss program and helped motivate me to get moving! She had great ideas, was accessible, and a good sounding board. I still love looking at her Instagram account for motivational photos that keep me going! 8 months later and I am still taking great care of myself!”

~ Holly P.

“What I love most about Jennifer is that she walks the walk in her own life and she brings an understanding only someone who has traveled her journey can bring. Her zest for life and LIVING- it was a huge motivation for me to learn what she knows. While working with Jennifer, I was impressed with the input and help that was available, while at the same time an encouragement to trust myself, listen to myself, and take my own steps. I felt more empowered than ever as well as armed with valuable tools. I’ve seen emotional and mental progress in my relationship with food and body image, and continue to see physical progress. I realized just tonight I need to size down in jeans!”

~ Sami E.

“First of all, this is not a diet! There are no meal plans, exercise programs, magic pills, weekly weigh-ins. The Happy Body Project is a community built on self-care, self-love, and trust.

I joined the Happy Body Project with the idea that I was joining a “Holiday Accountability” group to get through the holiday season without falling off the wagon, because I know I need accountability. But to my surprise, I entered a journey that exposed those things in my soul which held me back. I had to take a serious look at the imbalances in my life.

My weight for me has been about control. I had this “number” in my head. If it goes up, reduce calories, increase cardio. Easy. Controlled! But this way of living has come with a price. This year, thinking I tore my meniscus in my right knee, I went to the doctor. The discovery was not a torn meniscus, but 90% cartilage loss. No more cardio! This was devastating. How was I going to “control” those extra pounds? But now I understand “I am more than a number on the scale”. Through Happy Body Project I started to change my focus from the outside and look inward. Worry less about the scale and open my mind to areas that I forgot to grow, to love and care for myself…in ways that I never had.

The best part of Happy Body Project was the community. To walk through this journey with a group of women, different ages, and stories. To know that we all experience the same voice that says we are not enough, that we don’t have it all together. To breakdown of the walls of protection, and collectively witness the journey of healing together. To affirming one another. Loving our selves. Caring for our selves. Sometimes, crying and empathizing with the pain and growth. Witnessing the empowerment of our lives.

The truth is, it’s not about weight, size, etc. Happy Body Project is a guided journey to expose the story you tell yourself that holds you back from your truest self, your healthiest self! When you start to forgive, love and care for yourself, your body will love and care for you back. You will see changes that are sustainable and LIFE-changing.”

~Amber R.

White Bean Chili…SLOWLY

One of the things I love about being a Health Coach is chatting with my friends about food!  In thinking about eating healthy people remember of all the yummy recipes they have in their vaults that are actually pretty darn HEALTHY!  If you have a delicious, healthy recipe email it to me, we are all in this together! 

This recipe comes from my friend Stephanie in Boise and the family INHALED it! We have now been making this for a few years and it is always a hit! Easy and full of flavor, and perfect for cold Fall days, especially when many of us are getting home late from work and kids activities.

Thanks Steph!

Enter a caption

White Bean Chili in the Crock Pot

Makes 8 servings


Three (3) 15-oz. cans Great Northern beans, drained – (AKA cannellini beans)

8 oz. cooked and shredded chicken breasts, could also use cooked ground turkey (skip the chicken for a Vegan/Vegetarian option & add one more can of beans)

1 cup chopped onions

1 1/2 cups chopped red bell peppers

2 jalapeno chili peppers, stemmed, seeded, and chopped (optional/ and I used one small can)

2 garlic cloves, minced (or two Trader Joe’s frozen garlic cubes)

2 tsp. group cumin

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

3 1/2 cups chicken broth (use vegetable is going the vegan/vegetarian route)

sour cream

shredded cheddar cheese

tortilla chips


1. Combine all ingredients except sour cream, cheddar cheese and tortilla chips in slow cooker.

(If you are going to be around you can add the onions and peppers about 1 hour before completion for a bit more crunch)

2. Cover. Cook on Low 8-10 hours, or High 4-5 hours.

3. Ladle into bowls and top individual servings as desired: sour cream, greek yogurt, cheese, cilantro, lime wedges, chopped tomatoes, diced red onion, guacamole and chips.


The 411 on the White Bean Chili: Calories 193/ Fat 3g/Fiber 6g/Protein 21g

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: