Yep, that’s me - the mom to that crazy crew!
As wife to my husband of 20+ years and mom to this awesome bunch, I know first-hand how challenging it can be to try to do it all...because for the last 20 years, I’ve been trying to be “Supermom Sara.” I have had times of great success, and times of great failure. Now, I’m here for you to help you realize that
"You. can. have. it. all. ... Just not all at the same time."
That’s right! I have learned that I CAN have all of the things that are most important to me - but I had to get my priorities right, first. And now I’m here to help you do the same thing with a h.e.a.l.t.h.y. b.a.l.a.n.c.e."
For years, I’ve had a passion for healthy living. My mom was raised on a farm, and I grew up with a vast knowledge of healthy eating habits handed down from her vegetable-heavy meals. With the exception of pretty severe rounds of ear infections as a toddler, I was an extremely healthy child/teenager - no broken bones, no medications, no surgeries and lots of sunshine and exercise.
When my husband and I began our family, we chose water birth and home birth to welcome our first (and what later became our second, third, fourth and fifth) baby into the world in the most gentle and family-centered way possible. During my early years of parenting, I took on many titles - I was an "EBF (exclusively breastfeeding) mama," an "anti-vaxxer" (because after a hefty amount of research, it was what felt right for us, but you do YOU; no judgment here, seriously), a baby-wearer, homemade baby-food maker, a NON-cry-it-out mom (yes, I held those babies a LOT!) and a stay-at-home mom.
After experiencing a health crisis in the early 2000’s that led to years of battling thyroid and adrenal imbalance, I realized that doctors weren’t going to be able to “fix me” - only I had the power to do that. I had spent months in extreme pain and even more anxiety, and it was incredibly frustrating to KNOW that something was wrong with my usually healthy body, yet I kept getting diagnoses like "depression," "chronic fatigue syndrome," and even "fibromyalgia" and was given medications I knew weren't what I needed.
So I dove in head first to research to find alternative ways to feel healthier. Initially, I learned that common household items I'd been using, like Tide and Johnson & Johnson, were extremely toxic. I completely transformed our home, throwing out the scary stuff and switching to only non-toxic cleaning products. We saw a difference, immediately. But the changes didn't stop there.
I overhauled our eating and placed a huge emphasis on whole food, with lots of fresh fruits and veggies, and even got our kids involved when I became a business-woman and opened a produce co-operative company in the greater Tulsa, OK area. We spent each weekend rising before the sun to fill boxes with fresh produce for our customers. It was then that I watched my kiddos learn to love green peppers as much as apples!
I’ve learned about the power of gratitude, balanced living, a positive mindset and the importance of a healthy body not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually, as well. I'm a huge fan of community and connection, and I believe that positive relationships are one of the most crucial parts of a healthy, balanced life.
After being a stay-at-home mom for 14 years and raising five kiddos, I pursued my passion for teaching and entered the music classroom and returned to my hometown of beautiful Bend, OR. Teaching music has been a lifelong dream, but today’s classroom is different from the classrooms of the 1980’s. And so, stirring began in my soul for something *more.*
It was after living for a few years in Bend, OR and balancing an increasingly busy lifestyle (hello, teaching full-time, having teenagers, and getting a Masters degree!) that I decided I could no longer ignore my lingering health symptoms.
For years, since the initial crisis in the early 2000's, I had battled fatigue, hormone imbalance and some pretty serious gut issues. There were days before teaching where I'd be so wiped out from *something* not agreeing with me (but never knowing what, despite food journaling) that I would spend the entire day in bed, weak, shakey and depleted from diarrhea spells. As a teacher, I learned to be grateful to have the staff bathroom across the hall from my classroom - that was no way to live!
So I sought out a Functional Medicine practitioner in Bend that finally listened. I was tested and I found out that I was gliadin-sensitive (gliadin is a part of the wheat protein molecule that houses glutenin and gliadin), found that I also had a bacterial overgrowth called SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and yep, I really DID need to balance my thyroid - it wasn't "all in my head!" By the way, this is what I hope to teach you - that you CAN trust your own body. You are the expert of her!
To heal SIBO, I went on a long-term Low FODMAP Whole30 diet. My list of no-no's at that time was long: onions, garlic, asparagus, brussels sprouts, wheat, all milk, yogurt, and cheese, figs, honey, apple, mango, pear, peaches, plums, cauliflower, mushrooms, chickpeas, legumes, cashews and agave nectar. It was a grueling five-month journey, complete with multiple supplements to repair and heal my gut. And it worked! My digestive issues disappeared, my fatigue diminished and I felt better than I had in a LONG while.
It was in healing my gut and balancing my hormones that I was finally able to begin losing weight. While I was never considered "overweight," I had fought those last 20 pounds after each child was born and with my gut and hormones all out of sync, my body simply wouldn't release that weight. (Some additional stress from teaching also contributed.)
I was blessed to be able to join my Functional Medicine Practitioner's office staff as Virtual Office Manager during a lull in my busy schedule and upon working with her, it only solidified my love for healthy living. It was during this time that I first discovered the field of Health Coaching.
While I love what I do as a teacher, I knew a passion for more was stirring within me. After finding true balance with my health and healing my gut, I began my pursuit of getting certified as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I plan to sit for the National Board Certification for Health and Wellness Coaches in the fall of 2020.
So what exactly is a Health Coach? Well, I like to think of it as your “guide on the side.” How many times have you gone to a doctor or wellness practitioner and they’ve told you to “lose weight - exercise more - eat healthier - or do a Whole30?” (Or even worse, you’ve left without any recommendations of how to feel better at all.) While these are all great suggestions, and I love that our physicians are beginning to see the importance of diet and lifestyle as it correlates to disease prevention, they just simply don’t have the time to hand-hold their patients through the sometimes daunting process of changing their lifestyles, and that can be the very point where we all need the most help!
Enter me - your personal Health Coach. Through my personalized programs, you and I will establish goals for YOUR UNIQUE SITUATION. We will meet twice a month to work through solutions tailored just for you. Whether you'd like to focus on healthy cooking, relationships, self-care, prioritizing YOU time - I can help you with all of it! Isn’t it time you finally feel like you’re reaching your potential?
Listen, I know what it’s like, too...
I believe there is no one-way to do it....
We’ll discover together what works best for you to create lasting change by taking baby steps along the way. I’d love to chat with you! If my story resonated with you and you’re interested in pursuing and finding your own healthy balance, let’s talk!
Sign up for a FREE 60-minute DISCOVERY SESSION to learn more about how I can help you achieve your goals!
What do you have to lose? Nothing. What do you have to gain? EVERYTHING.