Coconut Cherry Chia Overnight Pudding

We’ve been speaking a lot about healthy habits lately here at Tara Allen Health - what with the New Year and all. I can't think of anything more helpful than setting yourself up for success the night before.  For me, this looks like making the kids' school lunch and snacks, setting out my workout clothes (I either train clients or myself very early every morning), and taking a look at my schedule for the next day so there are no surprises.


Another helpful trick - especially if your mornings are typically frantic - is to pre-make breakfast for whoever you're responsible for feeding in the AM.  Some of my favorites that can be made ahead are overnight oats, veggie-egg cups, and this Coconut Cherry Chia Overnight Pudding recipe...

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Coconut Cherry Chia Overnight Pudding
(Serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 3 T Chia seeds

  • 1 cup coconut milk (or another non-dairy milk of choice)

  • 1 cup chopped cherries (frozen or fresh - your choice!)

  • 1 T raw honey

  • Dash of pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon


Directions:

1. Place all ingredients in a glass container and stir well.

2. Cover the container and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

3. When it's time to eat, place a serving in a bowl and garnish with an optional teaspoon of almond slivers, or another kind of nuts / seeds.


If you try this recipe (or any of my other recipes) and decide to post to social media, please tag me so I can see it!  


Facebook: Tara Allen Health
Instagram: @tara_allen_health


In good health,
Tara

Your goals are set. Now what?!?

Don't wait for motivation to 'strike'!


Have you ever entered a new year (like right now) with tons of great intention, motivation, and a list of things you want to magically change about yourself or your routines?  And then something derails your progress a day, a week, or a month in?  Or you're making so many changes at once it becomes impossible to get them all straight?

I've been there!  In fact, I'm the queen of lists and dreaming big and taking on wayyy more than I can manage (sanely, anyway).

My latest Workshop Wednesday video was all about how choose where to focus and how to not rely on feeling motivated to do so. The truth is, successful people are no more motivated than you or I.  Successful people just implement a plan that involves taking action regardless of motivation being present or not.  The specific tactic I get into in the video is called The Domino Effect. If you have been nerding out on goals and creating new habits lately, you're going to want to check out this video!

Happy New Year!

In good health and holiday cheer,

Tara

I have a surprise for you! (Sugar cravings? Health goals? Read this!)

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Psst…


Yeah, you!  The one that knows she's destined to make some amazing progress in her health this year. The same one that's also dealing with the post-holiday sugar cravings and telling herself she'll "start" when those go away...


I get you. I do. The holiday cookies, pies, bread, pizza, chocolate, and wine are SO DELICIOUS, but come with tons of baggage like your favorite toddler when you try to leave the house for 30 minutes.  



It can be tricky to gain any traction with your goals when you're still battling those cravings for sugar and carbs.  So, as a thank you for allowing me to hang out with you every week in your inbox, I have a surprise for you!


Coming January 14th to an inbox near you: Crush the Cravings, a 5-day (FREE) Challenge.  No need to do anything if you’re already signed up for my newsletters.  Well, you could tell a friend (or 5) if you want to help me help others!  ;-)


If you’re not yet on my newsletter list, it’s not too late to join! Sign up at TaraAllenHealth.com - right on the home page, and get ready to open a new email everyday next week with a new tip or habit to practice that will have you well on your way to eliminating those cravings by week's end.


Sound good? Great! I'm excited to hear how awesome you feel at the end. Use #crushthecravings and tag me in your posts as you track your progress!


"See" you soon,

Tara

THRIVING this Holiday Season: Part 2, FITNESS

Ready to THRIVE?


What are you waiting for?!  


If you celebrate Christmas, then today is a very special day for you. Merry Christmas! If you are reading this in real time as it showed up on my site, right now I am probably taking too many blurry pictures of my children as I choke back tears as I remember "how little" they were last year at this time. I'm emotional. I cry over everything.  :-)  


But, chances are you are reading this at another time.  Maybe it's Tuesday night now or Wednesday morning. Regardless of whether or not you celebrate Christmas, you might be thinking ahead to more parties this week as New Years approaches quickly. If you thought that I was going to tell you right now to avoid alllll cocktails, cookies, and pie…you thought wrong.  I want you to enjoy yourself…with intention!  And, I want you to feel as though you're not "off the wagon".


One way to allow all of the merriment to happen and also not feel like you've tossed away all hope at any of your health goals is to keep (or re-establish) an exercise routine right now. Before I lose you here, I'm not talking about going from nothing to 60-minute workouts!  How about 5 minutes today?  How about 10 tomorrow?  What can you do?  Let's start there.


In my latest Workshop Wednesday video, I shared a little bit about how to set goals in a completely new way (hint: behavioral over outcome), and also get into 7 ways to get your fitness in during the holiday season…and Winter in general.  There are unique hurdles that present themselves this time of year, but there are also unique opportunities!  


Here's a summary:


Tip 1: Commercial breaks.  During your favorite holiday movie, Netflix, or DVRed show, march in place or do dips on a chair.


Tip 2: Be creative.  Ten squats every time you go to the bathroom (yes, even at work) is that much more than you're already doing.


Tip 3: Festive decorations.  Bundle up for a walk or run as a different way to experience the beautiful lights this time of year.


Tip 4: Holiday fun run.  There is still time to sign up for a New Year's run or walk.  Be social and active at the same time.


Tip 5: Track your steps.  Use an app or wearable device to try to improve the number of steps you take.  Using those gifts cards or making returns at the mall?  Perfect!  Do a few extra laps.


Tip 6: Shoveling. You have to wait for Mother Nature to cooperate for this one, but take advantage when the white stuff gets here.


Tip 7: Winter FUN. Snow tubing, ice skating, sleigh-riding, skiing, snowboarding...


Which one of these is your favorite?  I'd love it if you hit "reply" to this email and let me know.  


In good health and holiday cheer,
Tara


P.S. If you want to catch the video, here it is!

Thriving this Holiday Season: Part 1, The Food

The holidays are upon us! If your life is anything like ours, you will have parties and gatherings and events everyday for the next week and a half. :-) It’s fun! And also, it can be tricky to manage any type of health goal with all the food, cookies, alcohol, and hot cocoa.

Check out my recent Workshop Wednesday video in which I shared my top tips for not just surviving, but actually THRIVING, during this festive time.

In good health and holiday cheer,

Tara

P.S. Stay tuned until next week when I share Thriving this Holiday Season, Part 2: Fitness.

Eliminate these 2 things to see near-immediate results!

You just want someone to tell you what to do sometimes...


I get it! I do.  If you've been reading my blogs for a while now, then you know that I believe in the, "If you bring a woman a fish, she'll eat for a day.  If you teach a woman to fish, she'll eat for a lifetime" approach. (That was paraphrased with a creative twist).  ;-)

However, I do really know what it's like to sometimes just want someone tell you what to do. When it's a week before a big holiday and 2 weeks before another big holiday and there's so much to do and what seems like an unlimited amount of parties with food and alcohol...

It can be hard to stay focused. It can be tricky to remember how to fish for yourself.

Today I'm sharing with you 2 things to eliminate (or greatly reduce) from your plate that will bring you near-immediate progress.  These tips are NOT easy - especially this time of year.  So, you get to choose when to use them.  Save these tools in your tool belt for the day after a particularly fun party.  :-)  Or, start immediately so you can get a bit of traction and energy before all of these events.  It's up to you!

The video is below. If you don't have time to watch or listen to the video for all of the details, here's the cliff notes:

1. Refined sugar
2. Refined flour

They are not doing you any favors for your health.  If they are soul food for you - as in, your soul is happy when you eat them - then by all means, keep some of it in!  But, choose intentionally. Be picky.  Save it for special foods and special occasions.  Watch how much better you feel when you do that!


In good health and holiday cheer,
Tara


P.S. 2019 is coming!  It's our year and we're coming for it.  One of the things that I do to give me a leg-up is keep my healthy habits in place.  If working out consistently or eating properly for my body type and goals weren't a habit, I wouldn't be able to accomplish a whole lot, to be honest. This took some time for me to establish.  And then, I had to figure it all out again post-babies. Things change.  But, the fact that I need my health, energy, and confidence in order to go after my dreams has never changed.  If you are looking to improve your health, energy, and/or confidence in the New Year so you can crush your goals…and your life, then I think you should! That's where the magic is.


I coach women through this transformation through nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle changes that bring great health, energy, confidence…and JOY!  Let me know (email me at Tara@TaraAllenHealth.com) if you are interested in chatting (free of charge) to discuss what some of your goals are.*

*Limited offer: This offer is available to the first 5 people that email me.

Coconut Macaroons

It’s the week before Christmas and the New Years celebrations are kicking off in 2 weeks. Some of us are all cookie-baked out. Is this you?! Do you need something different? This macaroon recipe has just 4 ingredients! You must try. :-)

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Coconut Macaroons

Ingredients:

·      2 large egg whites

·      ¼ cup honey

·      ¼ teaspoon sea salt

·      2½ cups unsweetened coconut flakes


Directions:

1. Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks with a hand blender.

2. Gently whisk in honey and salt.  Fold in coconut flakes.

3. Place bowl in fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

4. When ready to bake, Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

5. Fill a melon baller with batter (firmly packed)

6. Release batter onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until macaroons are golden brown.

7.  Cool for at least an hour.  Serve and enjoy!

In good health and holiday cheer,

Tara

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Body positivity + 5 affirmations

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Hey guys,

Real change starts with acceptance.


While that may seem like an oxymoron, it's the absolute truth! Here's the gist...when we come from a place of acceptance, we have more positive emotions.  Positive emotions lead to positive action which leads to positive results.  


The opposite is also true.


You have probably heard me speak to this in the past, as it's so crucial for anything and everything you are looking to accomplish, or change, or just feel more positive about.  I'll sum it up right here for you.


The S.T.E.A.R. Cycle:


Situation --> Thought --> Emotion --> Action (or inaction) --> Result


Wherever your body is at right now, is the situation. It's neutral. When we have a thought (judgment) about the situation, we end up putting a negative or positive spin on it.


Let's just say you aren't feeling so confident about your body these days. You're negatively judging your body and what it means ("I shouldn't weigh ____.", "I hate the way my legs look.")  From these negative thoughts come a negative emotion (example: shame).  Feeling shameful about your body will NOT allow you to take positive actions leading to a positive result.  It just won't. 


Here's the great news.  WE have the power to change our thought patterns over time and with practice.  


Last week, I talked about this in my LIVE, online, weekly workshop.  Not only did I discuss the S.T.E.A.R. Cycle, but I shared 5 affirmations that you can start to use TODAY to ensure that you're feeling (even just a little bit) better about your body by the time January 1st rolls around.


And why is that important?


Because you're beautiful and you deserve to feel that way. :-)


But also, if you will be working towards any kind of health goals in 2019, it's super-duper important that you do so when you're feeling more positive about your body.  


Remember...positive emotions lead to positive actions which lead to positive results - the exact thing you're looking to accomplish.

Check out the video below!

In good health,

Tara

P.S. Since there are now FOUR weeks left of 2018 and not 5, I want you to double up on affirmations #1 and #2. Say both of those each day for a week. Next week, move onto affirmation #3 and you’ll be all caught up and get all the same awesomeness as everyone else who saw this video last week. ;-)

P.P.S. If you want to make sure you see my videos LIVE (or at least pretty soon after), you are invited to join me inside my private Facebook group, Lean In with Tara Allen Health. “See” you over there!

Cut back your workout time!

Hey guys,

If we are friends on facebook, then you may already know that I do a weekly, live show on my business page on Wednesday mornings. In this “show”, I talk about something related to overall wellness, nutrition, and/or fitness…often talking about many somethings each week because sometimes I can’t shut up. It’s both a skill AND a flaw. ;-)

Anyway, in my latest live video, I talked about how you can cut your workout time by 2/3 and still get BETTER results. We get into time management and common excuses. We talk about fear how to gain momentum, and how to start working out at all if you haven’t started yet. I shared a rather, um, disturbing thing someone said to me that day in the gym locker room.

So, if you are either not working out at all (and want to be) OR feeling as though you have trouble fitting in your workouts or spinning your wheels in the gym, this video was made for you. :-)

Please tell a friend that may have told you recently that she wants to exercise, but can’t seem to find the time. You could be helping her in more ways than you might know.

In good health,

Tara

Martha Stewart Weddings

Hey guys,

While I’m not so sure that the majority of you readers are getting married anytime soon (maybe?), the tips that were inside of my latest article feature in Martha Stewart Weddings is all about hydration and can definitely apply to you - even if you’re at a different stage in life. ;-)

HERE IS THE ARTICLE

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Tell me, what are your favorite ways to stay hydrated?

In good health,

Tara

Blueberry Muffins - Nut free & Healthified

Hey guys,

It’s no secret that I care - a lot - about my family eating healthfully. It’s also no secret that when they’re in school, there’s a certain amount of control we give up. There are birthday parties and holiday parties and beginning of the year parties and middle of the year parties….

It can all get a bit out of hand. If you are a mama / parent / caregiver of young children like I am, then you might find yourself in a similar debacle from time to time. Not only that, but so much of my homemade treats include alternative flours like almond flour - which is an obvious no-no in our nut-free schools.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Here is a blueberry muffin recipe that I made recently during a particularly party-heavy time at school. My kids got to enjoy a treat that I felt good about and we were very cautious about other kiddos’ allergies. :-)

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Blueberry Muffins

(Makes 10 muffins)

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup coconut flour

  • 5 eggs

  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (make sure not to use nut milk if strictly nut-free)

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

  • 2/3 cup blueberries

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda

  • 1/4 tsp. ginger

  • pinch sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Mix all ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender, except blueberries.

  3. Fold in blueberries.

  4. Line a muffins tray with liners.

  5. Fill each muffin cup until 2/3 full.

  6. Bake for 22-25 minutes. You’ll know they are done when the tops are golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the muffin.

  7. Enjoy!

In good health,

Tara

Safer Make-up

Save the date! 


This beautiful lady below, Kathryn Lattimer, will be sharing her background story and some important wisdom about safer cosmetics with us!  Not only that, but for those of us (ahem...me!) that are make-up challenged, she will be wrapping up our conversation by doing a make-up tutorial for everyone!

WHEN: Saturday, November 10th at 12:30 PM, Eastern

WHERE: Wherever the heck you have cell service!!  Just be inside my private Facebook group, Lean In with Tara Allen Health.

WHAT IF I'M BUSY?  No worries!  The replay will be made available for you to watch when you have the time.  ;-)


"See you" inside the group!


In good health,
Tara

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Welcome to November…and the onslaught of decadent holiday recipes coming your way!

Last week was Halloween and the way we circumvent tons of junky junk is by substituting it with healthy junk. ;-) These Oatmeal Raisin Cookies got sent in with my kiddos to school when they had their parties so that they would have a healthier alternative that would still taste great and feel like a special treat for them.

Mission accomplished.

I needed it to be gluten free, dairy free, nut free (school rules), and no refined sugar.

Here’s what we came up with…

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

(Makes 24 cookies)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats

  • 2/3 cup ground flaxseeds

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

  • 1 egg

  • 2 T water

  • 1 tsp. baking powder (aluminum-free)

  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

  • Optional: add 1/4 cup chocolate chips. walnuts, or dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Place the raisins in a bowl and add water until covered. Allow to soak for 15 minutes.(You can skip this step, but your raisins will be dry in the cookies).

  3. In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: oats, flaxseed, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt.

  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: egg, maple syrup, vanilla, coconut oil, and water.

  5. Mix your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients.

  6. Fold in raisins and any additional mix-ins, if desired.

  7. Scoop tablespoon-sized balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with back of spoon.

  8. Bake for 16-18 minutes.

  9. Enjoy!

WIll you be trying these? Let us know!

In good health,

Tara

Healthy Halloween - here's what we did

Hey guys,

I shot a quick video a few days ago to share what my family was doing to have ALL THE FUN on Halloween and none of the garbage!

  • Do we give out candy?

  • What about the school parties?

  • How do we deal with the trick or treating results?

I get into it all in this video.

Please note: This is what we choose to do as a family. This is by no means a judgment on your choices. ;-)

In good health,

Tara

My virtual nutrition & fitness coaching program - behind-the-scenes

Hey guys,

I'm peeling the curtain back and taking you behind the scenes...

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If you have heard me talking about my VIRTUAL, one-on-one nutrition and fitness coaching program, you may have wondered HOW it all works.


HOW do I deliver the habits and daily lessons?
HOW do the workouts work?
HOW do we stay in communication?
WHAT the heck does the software look like?


These are some of the questions I reveal in THIS VIDEO TUTORIAL in which I turn the camera onto my laptop and show you EXACTLY how it all works.  :-)

If you would like some more information about my program - Pioneer Nutrition and Fitness Coaching - check it out and hit 'reply' to this email with any of your questions.  I read and answer every single one myself.


Have a fabulous day and week!

In good health,
Tara


P.S. Here is that tutorial again:



Pistachio-Apple Bars

These Pistachio-Apple bars are amazing!


Magnolia and Jagger’s schools don’t allow nuts due to children’s allergies, so we rely a lot on nuts at home. These bars are the perfect after-school snack or dessert!

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Pistachio-Apple Bars with Chia Seeds (Servings 14)


Ingredients:


• 1/3 cup cashew butter 

• 1/3 cup honey 

• 1 tablespoon olive oil 

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

• 1/2 teaspoon salt 

• 1 1/4 cups puffed rice

• 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 

• 1/4 cup finely chopped dried apple 

• 1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries 

• 1/3 cup chopped dry-roasted pistachios

• 1 teaspoon black chia seeds


Directions:


1. Preheat oven to 350°

2. In a microwave safe bowl, mix cashew butter, honey, olive oil, vanilla, and salt. 

3. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute. 

4. In a separate bowl, combine puffed rice, oats, apple, cranberries, and pistachios. 

5. Pour cashew mixture over puffed rice mixture, and toss gently to combine. 

6. Press into an 11 x 7-inch, greased glass baking dish. 

7. Sprinkle the top with chia seeds, pressing down lightly to stick them to the mixture.

8. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cool, slice, and enjoy!


How do these sound to you?

In good health,

Tara

P.S. You can totally reduce the honey to make these even healthier. I’ve made them with about 1/2 the amount for a lower glycemic version (because...PCOS) and they were delicious!

How to achieve ANY goal you have!

Do you want to lose weight? Do you wish you could eat better more consistently? Have you been putting off your workouts?

In the video below, I share everything you need to know to break down ANY goal you have into action steps and daily practices. I discuss The Habit Loop and The Cycle that you can apply to any area of your life that you’re looking to upgrade.

**Warning: The video gets wonky around minute 4 but then picks up around minute 7 or so. This was a livestream and my internet connection was poor. However, you don’t miss much at all (what the heck was I talking about for those 3 minutes, anyway?!?) and I believe you will gain so much from watching this if you are looking to achieve something in particular.



If you are not on my email list, hop on ASAP so you can receive the companion worksheet I mentioned that’s heading to an inbox near you on Tuesday, October 23, 2018. :-) Sign up right here!

In good health,

Tara

Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup

Hey guys,

I don’t know about you, but I’m a soup lover! Unfortunately, creamy soups with a dairy base don’t love me back these days. And while I’m not selling artwork at fancy galleries or able to knit beautiful sweaters to save my life, my creativity often shows up in the kitchen when I’m trying to make healthier versions of my childhood favorites so that my family and I can enjoy them.

This is a new recipe that was inspired by the first frosty, October morning here in NY recently. No joke - we had our air conditioner on one day and 3 days later, the heat! It’s been wild. In fact, the extra dose of vitamin C from this tomato soup won’t hurt either with all of the weather changes and school germs aloft. ;-)


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Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup

(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

• 2 x 14.5 oz. cans fire roasted tomatoes
• 1 cup veggie broth or water
• 1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• 1/3 cup packed fresh basil
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 can full fat coconut milk

Directions:

1. In a blender, stir together the tomatoes, broth or water, pepper, salt, basil, and oil.

2. Pour into a large pot.

3. Place on stovetop on medium heat.

4. Cook 5 minutes. Then, add in coconut milk and stir to combine.

5. Cook for about 5 more minutes.

4. Serve and enjoy!


In good health,

Tara

Sweet Potato Quinoa Crockpot Chili

There’s a chill in the air….finally! ;-)

Hey guys, I like the heck out of Summer like the best of ‘em (except the mosquitos…and under-boob sweat brought on by humidity…). And yet, there’s something so exciting and refreshing about the first time I can put on a sweater and a vest with a crockpot meal working overtime for me.

I’m gonna cut to the chase and keep it short and SWEET today. This chili is the perfect Fall dinner when you need something fast, warm, hearty, plant-based, and/or gluten free.


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Sweet Potato Quinoa Crockpot Chili


Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 1 large bell pepper, any color, diced

  • 3 large cloves of garlic, diced

  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans

  • 1 can (28 oz) fire-roasted tomatoes

  • 3 (or 4*) cups broth, any kind

  • 1/2 cup dry, uncooked quinoa

  • 1 T chili powder

  • 2 tsp paprika

  • 2 tsp turmeric

  • 1/2 tsp ginger

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • pinch cayenne pepper

  • salt to taste


Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to slow cooker / crockpot.

  2. Cook on high for 4 hours.

  3. Allow to cook on low until time to serve.


*Add up to 1 additional cup of broth or water if consistency is too thick for you.

**Optional: Serve with avocado on top - just because!


Hope you enjoy!


In good health,

Tara

Why my virtual coaching program is 12 months!

Hey people!

Have you ever noticed the ridiculous claims some health and weight loss coaches make?

“Drop 20 pounds in 21 days!”

“Lose 3 pants sizes in a week!”

Blah, blah, blaaaaaaaaah.

Why are we drawn to such statements? Well, because we want to believe it’s true, even though we’re skeptical. The truth is, it doesn’t work that way. The other truth is, even if it DID work that way, when you when back to doing life after the week or 21 days, it would all. come. back (sometimes with interest).

My private, virtual coaching is a longer-term commitment at 12 months and I LOVE IT that way. It works. Check out this video to find out why. :-)

Happy weekend!

In good health,

Tara