And so it begins…


My journey to “living well” began with making some basic changes: a strict exercise regimen. A gluten-free diet. Reducing my intake of processed food. When I went off to college, a period of time I call “the lost years,” I kind of put my journey on pause. But thanks to some great friends, I managed to make it through anyway.

Back on track after graduation, I was living so well – or so I thought – last winter I picked up and moved across the country, for a community nutrition job with UC Cooperative Extension– educating students, helping teachers embrace MyPlate in the classroom, and [trying] to educate some of the adults in the community (Hablo un poquito Español).

I thought eating a paleo diet, practicing yoga, and using Tom’s deodorant was the best I could do when living naturally, and I felt good about it. This was great! Until Susan Louise Long walked into my life with some friendly advice about how to take care of my little one — the newest addition to my family. Before I knew it, I was in a downward (upward?) spiral of living well.

It really all started with an unexpected surprise. At the end of last May, I became a mom. My bundle of joy was 15 pounds, 12 ounces, and quite hairy. I thought I would be more settled when I had my first, or AT LEAST living in the same time zone as my boyfriend. But sometimes these things aren’t planned. Sometimes, you are given a sign, and you know it’s the right time. The moment we made eye contact, I knew in my heart she was the girl for me – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know you are dying to see pictures. So here she is shortly after adoption day:


Our first trip to the vet.. who was more nervous?!

Our first trip to the vet.. who was more nervous?!

At our first veterinary appointment, I was told to give her a pesticide to prevent heartworm, put some chemicals on her fur to get rid of fleas, and another medicine to combat allergies – all too common in the central valley… I thought – NO! I am not giving my Poppy all of these chemicals. And DO NOT even get me started on trying to pick out a good dog food. If I am eating fresh, organic food (shout out to the Visalia Farmers’ Market – miss you guys!) why wouldn’t I feed my little one high quality food as well? Wouldn’t that help her allergies, if it helped mine?

And so it began. Welcome to my blog, where you can follow my journey – and even start your own – to live well, and most importantly – laugh often.

Stay tuned,





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