Wisdom Wednesday

Diet. Not a word I really enjoy and apparently neither did Julia. My kind of woman!  As a registered dietitian, I love working with people who choose to live a healthy lifestyle and remove the word "diet from their vocabulary. Food is here to nourish our lives so we can think of great ideas, keep our heart beating, ride a bike or play piano. It should never be something we punish ourselves with. It should be something we enjoy and fuels our lives. For many of you, you may have set resolutions involving food and I would recommend tossing those resolutions in the trash. If you told yourself, "I cannot have" or "I will not eat" or "I will not eat out" you are attaching negativity to food. This will only make you desire these foods even more. It is time to build a healthy relationship with food and allow yourself to enjoy all of it. All foods fit, all year round. 

Weekly Conversation

By listening to my conversations, I hope you know by now how much I enjoy talking with registered dietitians and having them share their story. There is truly something special when I can share the story of a registered dietitian who had a huge impact in my life by being my preceptor, co-worker and now one of my most dearest friends. Brenda chose to become a registered dietitian a little later in life and has worked in a variety of settings with her current position as  a registered dietitian in Iowa who works for a special population of individuals at Glenwood Resource Center where her clients have significantly unique nutrition needs. This woman has taught me much and inspires me everyday.

Week(s) in Review
I am playing a little catch up from all my holiday adventures and I have to share pictures from one of the mostly lovely New Years Eve's I have had a in long time. It was such a great evening with the closest members of my tribe. My cousin Christine, her husband Denis and their pup Karlie hosted a mouthwatering dinner for my Mom, Gramma and I.  At first Gramma was going to stay in, but we talked in her to joining us for the evening. She shared stories about my great-grandpa's and grandma's and even spoke a little German for us! We all managed to kind of miss midnight for our toast but we made up for it.

 These are the moments, with family, that are so precious. All the cocktails and food were made with love and when enjoyed with the people you love, well that is the best combination. 

Gramma Alice telling her infamous stories
My favorite!  Rainer Cherries by candlelight.
Manhattan anyone?

Beautifully dressed table with white and cream lovelies everywhere! 
Denis prepping the Gruyere goodness

Homemade French Onion Soup recipe courtesy of Cooks Country 
My favorite view of the evening
Filet, Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus, and mashed potatoes!

Workout Playlist of the Week
This weeks playlist was inspired by the start of 2017 and some of my favorite oldies but goodies. The last one is my favorite to stretch to.

What I Love Right Now
Along all my adventures, I really get some great opportunities to try and experience new things.  My friend Andrew surprised me with a dozen of eggs. That may sound a little weird, but him and his wife Melissa, have couple of chickens they have raised and have at their home. I cannot wait to taste them. What a great gift! Talk about food made with love, truthfully from start to finish. There is nothing like  a farm fresh egg, find a farmer close to you and experience the difference for yourself.

Another awesome new thing I get to try is the Joule by Chef Steps. I have only gotten the box open and I am looking forward to sharing my adventure with this exciting cooking tool in the future. I have a lot a research to do to educate myself on working with it.  Let the cooking adventure begin!



Wisdom Wednesday

It is week 2 into 2017, how is it going so far for everyone?  In anticipation of my new year starting on February 17th, I am absorbing all the information and inspiration from all of you and gearing up for my own amazing start to another trip around the sun.  I challenge all of you to please not set resolutions (because we all know how they are usually complete BS and quickly fade) but to view your "New Year" with "Intention and Purpose."  What are your intentions and purpose this year?  What words describe what you want to do with this precious life you have on earth?  I am asking myself these same questions and deciding how this trip will be different than the past. Dig deep and choose 2 or 3 action words to give your 2017 the most meaning and add the most value to your life. Breath them in, be them and achieve them everyday as best as you can. 

Weekly Conversation

Jen is known nationwide as the Down to Earth Dietitian and I couldn’t agree more. I have been lucky to be a Nutrition Communicator for Midwest Dairy with Jen for the past 4 years and getting to know how her personal life has really influenced her professional life as a registered dietitian. She has come full circle with her passion of gardening, nutrition and nourishing the lives of others, especially her family and moms. As long as I have know Jen, I had no idea how deeply rooted gardening was in her life. It is wonderful how she is sharing her love for growth from the ground with growth at home around the dinner table. She has been a clinical dietitian at Mayo, a retail dietitian, and a media expert. She is now in her current role,  impacting the lives of children's health with school food service, becoming a newly published author with the writing of her first book The Mom’s Guide to a Nourishing Garden and a list of other exciting adventures. I am excited to share her story, thus far.

Week(s) in Review

Christmas Eve day started off with homemade banana muffies (made with love), freshly brewed coffee, beautiful flowers and peace and quiet. It was nice to start the day solo, have a great workout and prepare for a weekend at home with my family.

One of my joys was to get a picture of this little booger in his new abominable snow man slippers.

My mom and I lit our Christmas tree together this year, with a few tears and a lot of hugs. This was the tree my sister had in her room every Christmas. When I would drive up the street for a visit, I could see it all lit it from her bedroom window. My sister LOVED Christmas. So of course, she had her own special tree in her room. When she was in the hospital, my mom brought it down to her with some of her favorite ornaments and the star we have had on the top of our tree since I was little. It was great to have it on and present during the holiday season and it brought Kate's spirit and love for the holiday to the weekend.

Christmas morning tradition is mom's homemade Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Raisin rolls. YUMMMMMMMMYYYY!  I was so happy she mad them and kept a tradition going even with all of the changes we have had in the past couple of years. This year, I felt pretty special because she put golden raisins in the rolls and they are my favorite. This might have been the best roll I have ever had.

Why?  Because as I was on the couch under my blanket, all cozy, she warmed one up and placed real butter strategically on top. The butter melted perfectly into every little part of the soft, cinnamon bread. Paired with a warm cup of coffee and it was the best start to Christmas Day.

In the past, we have always had pretty amazing Christmas meals and this year was no different. My mom made the most amazing burger on homemade bread. Gramma joined in the burger fun. This is why I love Christmas at home. We do not have an set schedule or agenda, no major stress from a planned extravagant meal. Just simply homemade goodness and just being together.

That's what the holidays are all about.

Workout Playlist of the Week

Slowly but surely I am getting back into the routine of my week. This includes waking up and getting my fitness on. So hard!

The struggle is real. But I got this, you got this!  I will report on how well I am "getting it" next week.

 What I Love Right Now

Soooooo, it has been a little bit cold out. Just a little. Over the holiday, my cousin Christine made this adorable basket with all the makings for this delicious drinks in honor of my sister.

Not only did it make me smile and think of us two playing on the beach in Hawaii when we were younger, but it make me think about somewhere tropical!

Take me away!!!! Please!!!!

I had to share the recipe with you all for the Honolulu Lulu. It is totally worth the splurge for the umbrellas to whisk you away to a tropical island full of ocean, sand and sun. 

Each sip I took made me forget I was in blustery cold Iowa. 

Worth every sip and every sweet memory of my sister and Hawaii that I have. 

One last thing I love I want to leave you with. I started out this weeks Wisdom Wednesday with 2 words, intention and purpose. If you are on board with living 2017 this way, I really want you to give this documentary a watch. You can view the trailer here and the entire film is on Netflix. 

The greatest message from this film is to ask yourself:  Does it add value to your life?  I hope you give it a watch and let me know what you think!

Happy 2017 to you all! Let's make this the best damn year yet!



Wisdom Wednesday

As 2016 is coming to a close, how have you filled your pages?  

Are your pages full of ideas, memories, hard work, things you never want to do again, things you cannot wait to do again?  Is it a story you are proud of?  Is it a story that has inspired growth?  There are a few pages left, to complete your story, in the place you want it to end and begin at the same time. I have a few pages left because I will celebrate my New Year on my day of birth.  Upon review, I am pretty damn proud of Volume 2016. I always look forward to the next clean white page I get to fill with purpose. It is never perfect, but it is all mine.  I am so lucky to have had all these moments so far and I hope I am just as lucky to start working on Volume 2017. 

Cheers to the pages that have been and to the pages that are to come. 



A Wisdom Wednesday For My Sweet Big Sister, Kate

Tomorrow it will be a year since my sweet sister left this earth and we are reminded how short life really is and how lucky we all are to have had Kate touch each of our lives. With this being a very special time of the year and one of her favorite times of the year, how could it be any more radiant than celebrating the life of our dear Kate? When this Angel came into this earthly world and left this earthly world, she embodied sweetness, purity, grace and determination. 

Kate and I golfing in the Special Olympics Tournament September 2015
We all cannot help but think of her beautiful blond curly hair, dashing blue eyes and the sweetest smile you've ever seen. She was so proud to be the daughter of Dad and Mom, the most amazing Big Sister a girl could have to me and she nestled perfectly into the lives and hearts of the extended Huebert and Wegner families. 

Our family celebrating Kate's 40th Birthday
Her love for all things sports was contagious and she could get anyone to watch a game with her. She was and always will be a tried and true Iowa Hawkeye fan, Denver Bronco fan and a fan of anything her cousins were playing. But what she thoroughly enjoyed the most was playing golf with her favorite fan, her Dad, every Friday that she could. 

Kate Celebrating her birthday at Casey's

Kate and Ally cheering on the Hawkeyes
Kate was an inspiration when it came to her devotion to her work and her home.  She worked hard everyday, always trying harder than the day before, never missing work and always carrying a smile on her face.  She loved and was proud of her home. When she was home she could be found jamming out to her favorite music, hitting golf balls in the backyard, playing with her kitties or having a beer with Dad and Mom on the patio. It is those times when Kate would show her funny and silly side. She would sit back and take in the conversation, just because she loved to be a part of it and loved the people she was with.  She had the most amazing quick whit and impeccable timing. Kate would make you laugh with her genuine contribution to the conversation at just the right time. 

Kate and I with our first kitty, Guy
One thing that I want to share with you today that maybe you do not know about Kate, is that she could see and knew her guardian angel. Because Kate was so special, so loved and such a gift to each of us, God gave her this gift in return. Her angel has guided her, protected her and has been with her through so many trials and triumphs in her short but profound life. On December 22nd, Kate saw the open arms of her angel and the open arms of her Dad and knew it was time for her to go home. 

Kate and I at Thanksgiving 2013
All of you have unique and special memories of Kate, because each of your lives she has touched was uniquely yours. Please hold those memories close to your heart and keep her alive in all that you do. Our angel is watching over each of you, wrapping her wings gently around you and whispering to you that you are loved and blessed by her everyday. 

Kate celebrating her 40th Birthday!

 Miss you every day Big Sister. 

Always hug your loved ones super tight. 



Anyone else's pants tight right now?  Tis the season to be happy! Just be happy, however you define it. Who cares if your pants are tight. What matters are the meaningful relationships and simple joys you have in your life. Time is precious and if you are pre-occupied with shopping, eating and a bunch of other exhausting happenings, you are missing out on priceless moments with people. Put your credit card away, stop shopping online and put your phone away. Grab a cookie, unbutton your pants and engage in a conversation with the people who mean the most to you as 2016 is slipping away. 

Weekly Conversation

I did this crazy-ass thing this year and started doing a podcast. It has been one of the most exhilarating things I have done. I have enjoyed every conversation I have had with the people I love the most, the people who love food and care about health:  Registered Dietitians. As I am getting ready for 2017 and more adventures, I wanted to share the one podcast that started it all. Number one, numero uno, my first. It is even more crazy that since I had my conversation with Jena, she is now a new mother!  Time flies people, don't waste a single moment. 

Week in Review

I have some amazing friendships and this week was a great celebration of them. My friend Erin married the love of her life, James. It was a little dicey at the beginning of the day with a snowfall, but love prevailed and it all cleared up by the afternoon. They had a beautiful wedding and I know they will have a joyful life together. This picture says it all. 

The tribe also got together and had a cookie and cocktail club. Thankfully, we had a responsible member of the party to maintain motivation for the task at hand. Stacey, Cyril and Hollis manned the kitchen and created some delicious eats. 

Our theme for the party was to make a holiday cookie that reminded you of your childhood or something you made with your mom. My mom made a ton of cookie delights when we were kids. I know we tried to help, but I am guessing we were much of a help by licking bowls and spoons and eating cookie dough. I do remember my Dad loving all the treats my mom made and sitting at the table during the process sneaking bites. I made these peanut butter blossoms with Cyril helping me roll the dough and then dip them in sugar. This was my sissy Kate's favorite holiday cookie, so it only seemed appropriate to make them. 

Jason was in charge of making the cocktail, which seemed appropriate to have cranberry juice, with a splash of vodka for the cookie party.

Justin made some delicious peanut butter cookies with chunks of peanuts in it. Kevin got after it and made sugar cookies (with sprinkles!!!) and black raspberry jam cookies. He would not give me the recipe for the jam cookies, but they were delicious and sooo pretty. 

Workout Playlist of the Week

What I Love Right Now

I got a pretty kick ass package in the mail this past week.  Thank you Sierra!

About 6 months ago, I was out shopping with my mom and we saw a cool display of beautiful soaps at a local retailer. What was even better was the luxurious smells coming from the display. I was drawn to the lavender and the lemon poppy seed bars coming in all shapes and sizes. There were actual poppy seed in the soap. As we did more investigating, the company Pacha Soaps did not only have an impeccable message and mission, but were locally made in Hastings, Nebraska. (Side note:  for those of you who do not know, my college roommate, well-known organic chemistry guru and potato and vinegar loving, Katie Hervert Thomas is from Hastings). I love supporting locally created products and businesses and I love great smelling and beautiful personal products. 

"We are dirty hippies with a clean purpose."

"Pacha Soap is on a mission to provide the highest quality products, to promote health and well-being around the world and to implement sustainable solutions to the poverty cycle....all with veracity and love!"

Pacha Soap also gives back, number three of why I love their products. They have their "Raise the Bar" campaign to help someone in need. For every bar purchased, a bar is donated to a variety of people, including children in developing countries. This campaign also supports developing careers in soap making  for men and woman in developing nations. 

These colorful, fragrant and handcrafted soaps come in a variety of versions:  handouts loaves, bars and moons with scents like Ruby Red Grapefruit, Frankincense Myrrh and Pocket Full of Cozy; logs that are moisturizing and exfoliating with flavors of avocado, carrots, rosemary and eucalyptus; and soaks and scrubs for the bath. 

Their new product is this bar soap variety pack. You get a great selection of their scents in a smaller bar than the normal size. The bars last a long time and fill your shower or bath with scents reminiscent of essential oils. My mom loved the variety pack so much, she places a different bar underneath her pillow each week just to have the lasting and relaxing scents fill her slumber. 

I got these as stocking stuffers for all members of my tribe this year, head on over to Pacha Soap to explore their great products, learn more about their great mission and find a store closest to you to purchase a unique, made in the Heartland gift for those who make your heart beat. 



Wisdom Wednesday

How many times do you look back on a photo or a video?  These mementos are gifts we have of the past, memories of an event happening in our lives.  Whatever they make you feel, this feeling is your gift. They can make you smile, make you cry, make you laugh from your toes or may make you want to break something. Photos and videos are reminders of your life, what has happened so far and helps define who you are right now.  They encourage you to set goals to who you want to be and what future memories you want to make. 
How lucky to have gifts reminding you of the life you have lived so far.

Weekly Conversation

My conversation this week is with Beth Sloan, MS, RD, LDN

Beth Sloan is a registered dietitian I was thrilled to meet upon my adventure to New Orleans. She is a native of New Orleans and we had a great conversation about her journey so far. She has worked in clinical, outpatient diabetes, cardiac rehab, public health and currently a professor at Nicholls College  in Thibodaux, LA, where she is the Director of Dietetics and is an Assistant Professor of Dietetics specialized in teaching, evaluating, and advising future registered dietitians.

She is also the President of the Louisiana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is finishing up her Doctorate. She truly is a registered dietitian who gives back to our profession.

She showed me her favorite places, including pralines at Laura's Candies and we conversed over a Pimm's Cup cocktail at the Napoleon House. It was a complete joy spending time with this
inspirational woman!

Week in Review

This week has been pretty low key which is good, I embrace a little peace and quiet. I got my house cleaned and organized (which is pretty impressive to be done before the upcoming holiday). Made some dates with friends for cookie making and cocktail club, got a few books out in the mail and sent some cards and notes to my favorite people. It is the perfect time of year to buy a sweet gift or stocking stuffer for your favorite registered dietitian or future registered dietitian for the holiday and you can find it HERE!

I also dined at Gilroy's Kitchen, one of my favorite restaurants in the Des Moines area on the first snow fall of the year. Please be very jealous of this plate, and go get your own! I seriously struggle with what to order every time I go there because there is soooo many delish dishes. Then there is also the brunch menu and choosing between breakfast or lunch times, well that is a whole other struggle.

Workout Playlist of the Week

Good tunes and good vibes this week, jam out, pump some iron and make some muscle.

What I Love Right Now

The winter is harsh on my skin so I do everything I can to stay cozy and hydrated. This is my winter trio of products that I love. I always recommend moisturizing right after a bath or shower to lock in moisture. I like to use Suave Visible Glow for a little color to my skin all year around but during the winter' I apply every 2-3 days instead of everyday (no one expects you to be a bronze goddess in the winter). Then on opposite days, Jergens Shea Butter is my go-to for long lasting hydration and also adds a nice glow to my skin. Every 3 days, I also give my face and neck a little warmth with Clarins Intense Bronze Self Tanning Tint. It just is applied like a toner and it is very natural. This bottle lasts a long time, so don't be scared by the higher price tag. To finish off my coziness, I am loving my new sweater from F&F Clothing. More on that to come!