Bean & Veggie Chili ( Vegan ! )

chili 2

As the weather gets colder around the holidays and we enter the winter seasons plant based comfort foods are a must! Healthy vegan options are not inaccessible and can be very simple to make with easy delicious recipes. Try the Vegan Bean & Veggie Chili to heat you up during this holiday season.

Vegan Bean & Veggie Chili

1.Find a large pot and gather the the following ingredients:

2 large cans of crushed tomatoes

1 can tomato paste

1 can black beans

1 can chick peas

1 can sweet corn (org)

2 green, 1 yellow 1 orange bell pepper

(All organic btw)

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tsp White and black pepper

1tbsp ground cumin

2 tbsp agave

Sea salt and/or cayenne pepper to taste

About 1 cup dry uncooked brown rice

1/4 cup TVP if extra protein is desired

  1. Boil two cups of water and the 1.5 cups of rice in small pot. Next, heat up the crushed tomatoes. Once the rice is soft. Addthe rice and tomato paste into your stock pot.
  1. Dice your bell peppers (I used a Vitamix on the lowest setting to quickly dice mine) and add into pot.
  1. Add garlic, spices, agave, beans, corn and let cook on medium heat until boiling with a covered lid. Watch pot so chili doesn’t boil over!
  1. Add water if you want a thinner consistency or 2-4 tablespoons of coconut flour if you wish for a thicker heavier consistency.
  1. Top with sliced avocado, nutritional yeast or homemade vegan cornbread if desired! Enjoy!

5 Simple Steps to Detox Your Life

Today, we live in a world full of disease and illness. From the air we breathe, the water we drink, the pesticides and herbicides on our foods to even toxic thoughts and stress, it is imperative we take the proper steps to cleanse our life and reach for healthier habits to create a thriving life. So, what are some simple and easy ways prevent disease and cancer?

Eat more Veggies

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts are loaded with indole 3-carbinol, or 13C, a potent anticancer compound that helps break down excess toxins and even estrogen in the body and convert it to a more friendly or benign form. Today, breast cancer is one of the leading causes of disease. According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women will be diagnosed. Lowering estrogen levels will combat this. One study in the Alternative Medicine Review found that women that ate high amounts of cruciferous vegetables were 30 percent less likely to develop breast cancer over 30 years. 13C can also be taken as a supplement.

Eat More Fiber

Fiber rich foods, such as legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables help to flush out toxins. Fiber also has the ability to act like a broom and sweep the colon through the digestion process aiding in removing any bad bacteria and unwanted waste. You can easily add a few pieces of fruit to any Sunwarrior Protein for a fiber packed delicious smoothie!

Drink Green Tea

Green tea contains high amounts of epigallocatecin gallate (EGCG), a strong antioxidant found to to suppress new blood vessel growth in tumors and keep cancerous cells from invading tissue. Green tea is also less acidic than coffee and may boost metabolism. Drink up!

Spice Up Your Life

I’m not telling you to listen to your favorite Spice Girls oldie either! Spices are quipped with amazing anti cancer properties and will do wonders in cleansing and healing the body. For example, the spice Tumeric, contains Curcumin that is shown to have immune boosting and anti cancer properties while reactivating sleeping tumor suppressor genes that can kill off cancer cells. More healing and cleansing herbs include ginger, basil and garlic. Spice up your Sunwarrior smoothie with a touch of tumeric or ginger for a quick easy nutrient boost and flush those toxins out!


Stress has the ability to boost the risk of disease and illness and even unravel DNA cells. How frightening! Not to mention, when your body is under stress it craves sugar! So what can we do? Try adding more time outdoors. Exercising in the great outdoors has been proven to lift your spirits and balance mood. According to the research published in Environmental Science & Technology, it improves your mental state and helps to motivate you to continue reaching your goals. Compared with exercising indoors, exercising in a natural environment was associated with greater feelings of revitalization, increased energy and decreased stress and tension. Adding yoga and mediation to your daily routine has comparable side effects to boost your mood, energy and spirit creating an overall sense of motivation and happiness


Benefits of a Plant Based Diet


What is on the end of our fork matters. What we consume and put into
our bodies either feeds disease or prevents it. Did you know that
according to recent studies, vegans have lower cholesterol, heart
disease, lower triglycerides and cancers compared to non vegans? Not
to mention, vegans also have a higher intake on fiber. Worried about
protein? We’ve got you covered! It is very simple to meet your protein
requirements on a plant based diet. Don’t believe me? Ask Dr. Garth
Davis , founder Memorial Hospital’s “Farmacy” based out of Houston,
Texas. Research is laying out proof that plants are the key to health
and longevity.

Improve Your Health One Bite at A Time

One benefit of a plant based diet is higher consumption of fiber. On
average, adults require around 25- 35 grams of fiber per day. Beans,
legumes, vegetables, fruit and whole grains are great sources of
fiber. Fiber, both insoluble and soluble are both beneficial to
overall health and smooth digestion. Fiber acts as a broom and
cleanses your digestive track while keeping you feeling full longer.
Fiber is also proven to control blood sugar levels, keep LDL (bad
cholesterol) at bay and reduce the risk for colon cancer. Fiber is
also a key contributor for the body to create “good bacteria” through
the presence of lactic acid in the large intestine. This improves
vitamin and mineral absorption in the body while boosting our overall
immune system.

A Plant Based Diet Leads To Weight Loss
Because of the low fat content and high amount of nutrients in plants,
a vegan diet may promote over all weight loss compared to the standard
American diet. Many people believe animal products have nutritional
benefits due to their protein, iron, and/or calcium, depending on
which product. However, these foods contain dangerous components and
are not essential to our health. They may cause inflammation, promote
disease and weight gain. Plants, on the other hand, contain protein
and iron or calcium while providing the body with phytochemicals,
nutrients and fiber to help prevent and fight disease and sickness in
the body. They provide you with the energy you need to exercise and
build muscle. Check out Team Plant Built for major motivation or give a gander!


Doctors Now Prescribing Patients to visit the “Farmacy”

Dr. Garth Davis, of Memorial City Hospital in Houston Texas is one of
the first doctors in the United States to physically prescribe fruits
and vegetables to his patients through a partnership co-op with
Texas’s locally owed Rawfully Organic. Dr. Garth has experienced
extreme health results from patients after adopting a plant based
lifestyle. His approach is simple,  he advises them to increase their
plant based foods and limit the amount of meat and dairy they consume.
Not only are his patients losing weight, but many are regaining their
health from the inside out.

According to Davis,

“Meat causes inflammation by causing acidosis Also, meat has bacterial
endotoxins in its fibers that are released when consumed and cause an
inflammatory response Time and again, meat has
been found to increase CRP which is a direct risk factor for
development of heart disease and diabetes

When you eat animals you actually are eating arachidonic acid which is
a direct precursor that the body uses to create inflammatory
chemicals. Diets high in arachidonic acids have been associated with
inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative
colitis, and avoidance of meat has been shown to reduce these
inflammatory diseases.,,,,,

Now a new study confirms these findings. They randomized people to a
vegan diet, semi vegetarian diet, or regular diet and found
progressively more inflammation with more meat consumption.

Every time we eat meat we are adding to our inflammatory load. If you
are healthy and eat lots of fruits and veggies, which can counteract
the inflammation, then you are probably fine. But if you suffer
diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel
disease, meat is a poison to your body!”

So, where can vegans get their protein from a plant based diet?

Sunwarrior offers a wide variety of protein supplements that are
packed with plant based proteins. You can also find protein in every
plant based food. Here are some examples of plants that offer a higher
amount of protein to help you meet your nutritional needs.

Soy-based products-

Soy milk- 10g per glass

Soy beans- 20g per cup (cooked)

Edamame- 25g per cup (shelled)

Roasted soy beans- 22g per half cup

Tofu- 25g per cup

Tempeh- 46g per cup

Textured vegetable protein/soy mince- 48g per cup (uncooked)

Soy Spaghetti- 42g per 100g (dry weight)

Other meat substitutes-

Seitan- 63g per cup

Vegetarian mock meats- varies, usually 15-50g per serve depending on the product


Wholemeal pasta- 15g per 100g (dry weight)

Oats- 17g per ½ cup (dry weight)

Oat bran- 22g per ½ cup (dry weight)

Ezekial bread- 11g per 100g or 4-5g per slice

Vegan Protein Powders-
(around 25 grams per scoop of plant based protein)
(Email us at for advice on healthy organic vegan protein powders)


Chickpeas- 20g per cup (cooked)

Dry roasted chickpeas- 20g per cup

Split peas- 25g per cup (cooked)

Lentils- 27g per cup (cooked)

Kidney beans- 24g per cup (cooked)

Mung bean pasta- 45g per 100g (dry weight)

Black bean pasta- 46g per 100g (dry weight)


Spinach- 14g per 500g

Silverbeet- 8g per 500g

Broccoli- 14g per 500g

Cauliflower- 10g per 500g

Mushrooms- 15g per 500g

Potato- 10g per 500g

Corn- 16g per 500g OR 8g per large ear

Asparagus- 16g per 500g

Kale- 16g per 500g

Lentil sprouts- 22g per cup

Green peas- 8g per cup

Broad beans- 20g per cup

Nuts and seeds-

Pepitas- 18.5g per 50g

Almonds- 10.5g per 50g

Pistachios- 10g per 50g

Hemp seed- 18g per 50g


Nutritional yeast- 10g per tablespoon, 65g per ½ cup

Spirulina- 10g per tablespoon

Wheat grass powder- 5g per tablespoon

Barley grass- 5g per tablespoon

Chollera- 12g per tablespoon

Seaweed (dried)- 4-10g per tablespoon depending on type


–>30 Reasons to Go Vegan:
—>Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Position Paper on Vegetarian
—>Kaiser Permanente Thrive’s Nutritional Update for Physicians:
Plant-Based Diets:
—>6 Reasons Plant-Based Nutrition Is The Solution to The Healthcare
—>6 Steps Towards a Plant-Based Diet:
—>The Plant-Based Food Guide Pyramid and Plate:
—>Notable Nutrient Sources:
—>Vegan Easy Challenge’s Free 30 Day Vegan Challenge:

Calorie Burn VS Fat Burn

What is the difference between burning fat and burning calories? Well, for starters, there are a few factors you need to consider.

To lose fat and tone your body long term you must adopt a healthy nutrition and training program. One common myth to debunk is that just because you are burning calories at the gym does not mean you are burning fat. A common main goal is to lose body fat, however sometimes it is not possible to lose body fat simply from burning calories. When exercising, the body’s preferred source of energy comes from burning carbohydrates in our system. When you continue to only burn carbohydrates in exercise and not fat, your body will most likely be decreasing your metabolism and losing water weight, not the fat weight you so badly want off. Remember, carbohydrates are your body’s preferred energy sources. When you burn off all of your body’s energy, your muscles are unable to receive the energy needed to indirectly burn fat at rest. You may also feel fatigued, irritable, sluggish and notice you are hitting plateaus.

Train Your Body to Burn Fat

So, how do we burn fat? Well, to burn fat the body will need Oxygen present and in the correct amounts. This is why checking your target heart rate is vital in reshaping your body. Performing cardio above or under your target heart rate may deter you from reaching your goals. If you have questions on how to determine your target heart rate, please visit the link below.

Implement Weight Training

There is no magic pill when it comes to losing fat, but any fitness professional will tell you their secret to a toned body is weight training. By implementing weight training into your fitness routine and increasing your calorie intake to replace your burned calories, your body will have the energy it needs to build muscle and increase it’s metabolism. Adding in a little (not excessive) cardio subsequently after weight training may assist in reaching your goals too. Weight training is an anaerobic activity that will cause you to burn more fat calories overtime over aerobic exercise (cardio). The calories that you are burning during weight training exercises are mostly calories from carbohydrates (meaning you must eat even more calories per day for energy); but the calories you burn at rest are mostly calories from fat. The reason you are burning fat at rest is because weight training increases your metabolism which uses your stored fat as energy as your body is forcing itself to repair and rebuild muscle while toning and slimming your body.morgan

Natural Holistic Sun Protection for a Healthy Body

Many of our followers know by now that I have been battling melanoma for a little over two years and have had eight areas removed. Despite the challenges that surfaced, I made it a goal to educate and spread the word on melanoma and skin cancer awareness. After adopting a vegan diet, tossing all house hold cleaners and chemical filled soaps and lotions I also gave my sunscreen a makeover! Now, I have been cancer free for the first time in 6 months. I no longer use the typical Banana Boat,  Loreal or Neutrogena that are created using toxins and harmful chemicals. After all, our skin is  our largest organ and we don’t want to be covering ourselves in any product that may potentially harm our health. With that being said, I now am in LOVE with Suntegrity Skincare SPF 30 Natural Mineral Sunscreen! It protects your skin from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays, is all natural and formulated with green tea, protects against free-radical damage while aloe vera and cucumber hydrate and soothe redness. It is non oily and smells of tropical citrus. Currently I use the daily moisturizer, sunscreen and natural self tanner. The self tanner is fabulous for me, especially since I do tend to stay out of the sun but enjoy a healthy bronze glow. After applying these products to my daily routine I can honestly say they are by far the highest quality skin care on the market today.


Suntegrity’s Mission to Fight Cancer 

Something that resonated with me personally, was the company’s mission. Suntegrity CEO, Trisha, founded the Sunscreen company after losing her mother to skin cancer. I also wanted to share Suntegrity’s story with all of you.


Suntegrity Skincare was made in memory of my mom and all of those who lost their lives to skin cancer. Using my mom’s experience as a positive catalyst for change, I created a holistic, mineral sun care line to help people avoid skin cancer.

After losing my mom to melanoma skin cancer, I became a big advocate of wearing sunscreen. However, most of the sunscreens on the market use chemical UV blockers and contain a lot of toxic ingredients. It didn’t make sense to me to use these types of sunscreens to prevent skin cancer only to get another kind of cancer.

After several years of research and investigation, I decided to develop my own sun care line. With a heartfelt mission and the help of an extremely knowledgeable formulator and chemist, Suntegrity Skincare was born.

Suntegrity Face and Body SPF 30 products use only the best known physical block ingredient (non-nano size zinc oxide) to provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and super anti-oxidants and amino acids to enhance that protection and help with skin repair. Our products use non-toxic preservatives to maintain their integrity without sacrificing safety or health. Our company was awarded “Champion” Status by the EWG/Compact for Safe Cosmetics

I hope you enjoy our products and smile in the memory of someone you love every time you use them.

Thanks for your support!




What are the statistics on melanoma?


Cancer of the skin is by far the most common of all cancers. Melanoma accounts for less than 2% of skin cancer cases but causes a large majority of skin cancer deaths.

Here are the American Cancer Society’s estimates for melanoma in the United States for 2014:

About 76,100 new melanomas will be diagnosed (about 43,890 in men and 32,210 in women).
About 9,710 people are expected to die of melanoma (about 6,470 men and 3,240 women).
The rates of melanoma have been rising for at least 30 years.

Melanoma is more than 20 times more common in whites than in African Americans. Overall, the lifetime risk of getting melanoma is about 2% (1 in 50) for whites, 0.1% (1 in 1,000) for blacks, and 0.5% (1 in 200) for Hispanics. The risk for each person can be affected by a number of different factors, which are described in the section “What are the risk factors for melanoma skin cancer?”

The risk of melanoma increases with age – the average age at the time it is found is 61. But melanoma is not uncommon even among those younger than 30. In fact, it is one of the most common cancers in young adults (especially young women). Remember, I was diagnosed at 22.



Your Body is the Only Place YOU have to Live




Needless to save, these products are my current “gotos” especially while living in the sunshine state. I urge everyone of you to remember to go to your annual dermatologist visits to check your own skin and also use healthy products, like Suntegrity to make sure you are taking care of your body. Your body is the only place YOU have to live. Treat it with love and respect and it will love you back. Please don’t make the same mistake I did for years and “forget” to use sunscreen and think  cancer was never a possibility. I will have melanoma the rest of my life and it is a daily struggle, however I also know that I have a obligation now to help you understand that there are ways to prevent skin cancer and live healthier lives.

For more information on their amazing product line, you may visit





Strong is The New Skinny




New research shows “skinny”  may not be healthy


What is obesity? Obesity is a medical condition consuming over 68% percent of our population today. It is an overload of body fat that has gathered to a high extent leading to serious health risks or death. Today, it is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and a prominent health issue for all of the 21st century, according to authorities. Obesity rates are rising in both children and adults annually but this is not our only “body fat” concern. Research studies are now illustrating that one can be “metabolically obese” even with a thin body image. The medical term, “MONW“ or metabolically obese normal weight, is also coined as the phrase “skinny fat.” According to The Journal of American Medical Association, one in four people today are skinny fat. Being thin does not always mean low body fat.



What is “Skinny Fat?”


Skinny is not always healthy. The scale does not always determine health. According to recent studies, it is beneficial to focus on body fat percentages rather than weight or BMI (body mass index) to determine your overall body composition health and your risks. On the brighter side, both obesity and skinny fat or MONW, can be reversed. By improving diet and exercise you can easily melt away stubborn fat and boost the body’s overall metabolic rate. It is imperative to incorporate weight-bearing exercises into your exercise program as a key component of a healthy lifestyle and healthy body.


How can you be tested for MONW?


If you think you may be considered skinny fat it is advisable to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Results from blood tests may reflect risks for MONW as well as a NMR or insulin test.


–        NMR Lipid Particle Testing

(This test measures colerteraol and LDL particle levels.)

–     Insulin Response Test

(This test measured your blood sugar and insulin levels.)




To prevent and cure obesity or skinny fat, follow these healthy tips and watch your metabolism fire up and burn that unwanted fat!


-Start lifting weights

Weight training provides a stress to the muscles that causes them to adapt and become stronger. The more muscle your body has will mean the less fat you will have.



-Stress less and sleep more

Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night. The body builds muscle during rest.


-Add in protein supplements to help build and maintain lean muscle

Protein supplements are conducive to building strong muscles and without proper nutrition and supplementation you will not be able to achieve the results you desire. Supplements like BCAAs, CLAs, creatine, protein bars, protein powders and glutamine all aid in the building muscle.


-Stay away from processed and refined foods.

Processed foods are recognized by the body as toxins and easily stored as fat. Many process and refined foods are stripped of nutritional value.


-Eat a diet full of lean proteins, healthy fats and complex carbs.

Select hearty fat fighting foods that fall in this category are: chicken breast, fish, lean turkey, egg whites, high quality protein powders, avocado, almonds, fish oils, flax seed, oats, sweet potatoes, brown rice, rice cakes, quinoa, lentils, beans, vegetables and fruits.


-Drink at least a gallon of water a day

Water flushes out toxins and aids in metabolism to burn fat.


-Avoid sugar and limit natural sugar to 30 grams a day

Excess sugar in the body will be stored as fat. Aim for no more than 30 grams a day. Good times to eat foods with sugar are before and after workouts. Always aim for natural sugars like fruit.


-Eat more plant-based foods

Plant based foods are loaded with vitamins and minerals that give your body the tools it needs to be healthy with an abundance of lean body mass. They are the full package deal and the key to a healthy lifestyle.





“Association of Weight Status with Mortality in Adults with Incident Diabetes.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.

“Body Mass Index Classification Misses Subjects with Increased Cardiometabolic Risk Factors Related to Elevated Adiposity.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.

“Effects of Physical Inactivity and Obesity on Morbidity and Mortality: Current Evidence and Research Issues.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.

“Fitness Programs | Are You Skinny Fat?” ACE Fit. Beth Shepard, M.S., ACE-CPT, ACSM-RCEP, Wellcoaches Certified Wellness Coach, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.

“Thin People Can Be Fat on the inside.” N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.

Why the Scale is Lying to You


Most people rely on the scale to determine progression in their physique and fitness goals. Unfortunately, this tool may not be as accurate as one may assume. If you have been adhering to a strict training regimen and nutrition plan while your scale has not budged, or worse, slightly added a few pounds, do not fret. As a matter of fact, you may be comforted to know that despite the scale’s final result you still could be progressing. Packing on hard earned muscle and melting fat may not invariably reflect a lower number on your scale.

Muscle Versus Fat

It is a common misconception that muscle weighs a greater amount than fat. Unfortunately, 5 pounds equals 5 pounds, no matter what subject matter is set on a scale. The actualization of this theory is muscle tissue has a higher density rate than fat. In fact, muscle will acquire less volume on the body compared to fat while maximizing the body’s metabolism rate. One pound of fat will take on four pounds the volume of lean muscle tissue. It is possible to transform your physique through body recomposition without the scale reflecting a decline in total body weight. Rest assured your hard work in the gym and in the kitchen has not gone to waste. One’s body weight may fluctuate due to the food and water consumed during the course of the day, hormonal balance, stress and more. Thankfully, there are several other methods to elect when recording progress.

Tracking Progress Without the Scale


In a 16-week study at the University of Kentucky, research findings demonstrate weight loss participants who tracked progress through motivational strategies other than the scale, where more inclined to lose weight compared to the controlled group who did not take part in such strategies. Here are a few simple ways to oversee advancements in a nutrition transformation program without the use of a scale.


  • Record your body fat percentage using calipers. This is a simple procedure that can be performed at a local gym by a skilled professional or even a local physician.
  • Use progress photos of yourself to monitor your transformation. Aim for full-length photos of your front and backside. Remain consistent and take snap shots every 3-4 weeks during your program. Research illustrates this is one of the best motivational tools in judging physical improvement. Presumably, day-by-day small subtle changes in the mirror may be overlooked. Taking photos will set progress into perspective and may be a pleasant reminder of just how far you have come.
  • Take measurements. Body measurements are a useful way to document body recomposition. Common body measurements include the chest, arm, leg, waist, neck, calve and hips.
  • Pay attention to the fit of your clothes. Choose a specific garment of clothing such as a pair of jeans of swimsuit. Try it on every few weeks to compare progression over time.

What The Scale Can’t Measure

Conclusively, if the number on the scale has affected your mood and leaves you feeling stressed, it might be an excellent time to ditch the scale and look for alternative approaches to track your goals. Additionally, uncover motivation in beating personal records in the weight room and physical activities. When it is all said and done, weight is simply a number on a scale. The scale does not conclude how many pounds of muscle you have gained or interpret your heightened endurance capabilities. It does not posses the capabilities to measure your devotion to your healthy lifestyle and it can’t measure happiness! Find motivation from within yourself when reaching your goals.

There are many simple ways to record progress as you sore to new heights throughout the course of your fitness journey. Learn to embrace how far you have come. You might be surprised on how a change of perspective can alter the course of one’s journey.


Boutcher, S. H. (2010, November 24). High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss. Retrieved April 28, 2014, from

Nathe, C., & Pratt, K. (2010, June 10). University of Kentucky News. Retrieved April 28, 2014, from

Stopper, M., MD. (2013, August 26). Weight Scales Don’t Tell The Whole Story – MedicineNet. Retrieved April 28, 2014, from

Getting Started in the Fitness Industry


I want to prepare you upfront that this blog is going to be a bit lengthy. I have a few points I feel I need to get across. After receiving countless inquiries from friends and followers on how I got started in the fitness industry, I feel a blog would be helpful.


I began my journey when I was diagnosed with cancer and my husband left for his 2nd deployment. After pursing my degree in public and media relations from Purdue University, I had a 7 month time span after graduation where I spent my last few months with my family in Chicago before my husband and I moved back to Florida after his re-enlistment in the NAVY. After he left for Japan, I wrote down goals that I aspired to accomplish. My list looked like this:


  1. Sign with a modeling agency
  2. Work with notable Photographers and create a portfolio
  3. Begin a social network outlet, website and image
  4. Compete in a national qualifying competition
  5. Stay positive through my husband’s deployment
  6. Work with Oxygen magazine, Muscle and Fitness Hers and on sharing my journey fighting cancer and Morgan’s journey overcoming her eating disorder
  7. Help women and be a role model demonstrating even though challenges, fitness and a positive mental attitude can and will change your life
  8. Begin a personal training program and become certified
  9. Obtain Sponsors
  10. Be closer to God


Yes, this is a bit personal but I want to share with you my story. As I wrote this list, I almost laughed at myself. I wasn’t sure if these were wishes or goals but I knew that after the past year in half of the challenges I encountered with my health, I had a change of perspective on life. After all, any action begins as a thought. Write down what you wish to pursue. Think of yourself as the person you want to become. That’s the first step.


Executing The Plan


1. Find your Niche 


It took 7 long months of working around 5-8 hours networking and planning each day. I researched to find which editors worked with the magazines I read, and affiliations of companies I wished to reach out to. My first step was to create an image for my sister and I. What is OUR story? What do we STAND for? What sets us apart from every other fitness model? We wanted to change the fact that many people are transparent in regards to life’s struggles. People everywhere are dealing with their own hardships, yet the fitness magazines primarily highlight weight loss successes or extremely thin models that are looking more for an ego boost than the satisfaction of making any little change to the world. Yes, that may sound a little harsh and upfront, however, it is my honest opinion. I wanted to make a difference. I was dealing with many stresses and by helping others, I found solace. It took my mind off my husband overseas and the endless worries I had with my other health issues. I had to change something. By deciding to take time to help others reach their own goals was a constructive way of pouring my energy into something bigger than myself. Morgan constantly enlightened me. At the time, Morgan just returned from Hungary with Habitat from Humanity Global the year prior to my college graduation. She worked through her summers to save enough money to pay over $4,000.00 to help better the lives of others and spent weeks helping build a home for a needy family. After overcoming her eating disorder through high school, and transitioning her career path to nursing, even as my younger sister, she became my role model. As I fought the melanoma, I looked up to her for support and knew if she could overcome her challenges, I could fight for what my goals in life as well. I wrote out our stories, sent them to magazines, websites, newspapers, photographers and got to work on sharing who we are with the public through our social media sources.


When you are looking to be featured in a magazine or looking for a sponsor it is in your best interest to find what sets you apart from everyone else. What are you doing to help others? What accomplishments have you had? What are your future goals? There are a million models and winners or competitions begging for sponsorships. You need to dig deep and find your niche.


I remember asking my friend, Kelsey Byers, for her advice on how to gain recognition with contacts, magazines and start a following. Kelsey told me to focus on helping others while genuinely aiming to make a positive impact in the world and the rest will fall into place. Positivity attracts. Kelsey and Jamie Eason were a catalyst for my entire journey. From hiring my Nutritionist, Kim Porterfield at IEM and constant motivators in the past three years of my life, I can honestly say their advice has altered how I view every little thing about my life. My advice to you, like Kelsey told me, focus on helping others… not on how many people are following you, how many likes you receive on “selfie” or what you rank in a competition. Do it for the right reasons and good karma will come back to you.


2. Network

Research what photographers work with the magazines. Invest in notable photographers and begin a portfolio. You need to be working with photographers who already work in the industry! Send your portfolio to agencies, magazines, websites and sponsors. Include your story, your image and your social media outlets and websites. Stand out in the industry! I also created business cards and took them to all of my competitions and events I attended. I constantly reached out to companies and let them know our story and goals.


3. Following Up

Magazine editors, publishers and photographers receive endless emails a day. Write an intriguing subject in the “subject line” and be sure to follow up in a few weeks if you have not heard back from them. I personally used the Constant Contact program ( when I sent out my story and photos to contacts. This way I could track who has opened them and was able to create media contact lists where it is possible to send out one mass email to many contacts through on quick click. Create a brief lead including all your personal information, key points and attach your feature story and three best images.




Personally, it took about 3 months of contacting companies to be hired with our first company, OhYeah! Nutrition as Digital Ambassadors. Our story sparked the interest of the assistant marketing manager and we began our contract. During the same month we were also signed with Naturally Fit modeling agency and completed our personal training courses. Additionally, after a few short months I began working with OYN as their content specialist and spokesmodel.





Create Your Vision and Write Down Your Goals


Goals are powerful. Clear objectives are the keys to success and give meaning to personal drive focus, motivation and provide a sense of direction when aiming for progress. By implementing goals you possess the understanding to bring forth accountability. You will be able to turn weaknesses into strengths and strengths into second nature. Administer a path to follow to help yourself visualize plans of actions to get you to where you want to be. Define and separate actions from wish thinking. You deserve to achieve your dreams. Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right. A recent Harvard Study compared the power of writing goals down versus goal setting. This research shows 84% of graduates had no specific goals at all, 13% had goals but were not written down and only 3% had clear written goals and a strategy to accomplish them. The results were intriguing. The 3% of the students with written strategic goals were earning nearly 10 times increases annually earnings than the other 97% put together.


Steps to Success

Have a clear vision of what it is you are aiming for. What are your main objectives in life? What are your health destinations? What strategies are you executing to obtain the results you seek? By writing down specific intentions and facilitating strategies to reach your aspirations, you may help pave a path leading to success. Generate a plan on to reach your goals. This can be performed in a few simple steps.

  • Write your goals on a sheet of paper.
  • Decide why the goals are important to you. What is your inspiration and motivation for achieving them?
  • Realize your capabilities and find motivation from within. Visualize yourself after you have overcome your challenges.
  • Place your list of goals somewhere you may pass by frequently such as a mirror or refrigerator.
  • Produce clear objectives and define each one in detail.
  • Measure your goals and create a realistic timeline of when you will complete them.
  • Determine the strategy you will use to reach your ambitions.


Goal: train for a competition

Inspiration: “To live a healthier lifestyle and improved quality of life. When I feel healthier, I am energized, my clothes fit comfortably, I feel confident, determined and strong. I am able to use this strength to enhance other areas of my life. I want to be the best friend, mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, son, employee and person I am capable of. I deserve that. “

Place the list on your mirror where you get ready each morning. Review your list daily. Envision your life after reaching your goals.

Strategy: Follow a healthy nutrition plan by eating 5-6 clean meals a day. Minimize fatty, fried and sugary foods. Comprise meals of lean proteins, vegetables and complex carbs with additional healthy fats throughout the day. Exercise 4-5x a week while incorporating weight training and cardio. Aim for 45 minutes of weight training and a half hour of cardio per session. Additionally, increase water intake to one gallon of water per day. Purchase business cards to bring to the show. Schedule a photo-shoot after the show with a high-end photographer and submit photos.

Deadline: “Competition Date”

Improve the Quality of Your Life

From strengthening confidence, generating productivity, and mental and physical focus, goals offer an extensive list of benefits. Living a healthy lifestyle is a journey, not a destination. Goals may benefit the overall quality of life and act the stepping-stones to success.

  • Goals have the ability to measure your work
  • Goals will provide you with a sense of direction
  • Goals activate willpower, motivation and inspiration
  • Goals may make work enjoyable
  • Goals create a sense accountability and may illustrate ones strengths and weaknesses
  • Goals may improve weaknesses
  • Goals may be a catalyst for new journeys, destinations and future goals



Bottom Line

Focus on helping others and making a positive impact on yourself and in the lives of others. Be the person you would want to meet. Create your own image and run with it. Stand out from the crowd and fight for everything you want in life. It’s not going to be easy but it will be worth it.



Benefits of Berries

Blackberries are composed of more than 85 percent water along with a hefty dose of fiber, which makes them a great fruit to eat if you’re trying to lose weight, lower cholesterol, or manage type 2 diabetes. They are a good source of folate, a B vitamin that helps maintain healthy hair and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and mood disorders. Additionally, blackberries are full of potent antioxidants that can help with arthritis, age-related memory loss, cataracts, and other eyesight problems.

Blueberries consist of 85 percent water, which makes them a great fruit to eat if you’re trying to lose weight. They also contain potent antioxidants that can help with arthritis, age-related memory loss, and cataracts and other eyesight problems.

Boysenberries are a cross of raspberries, blackberries, and loganberries, and they look like a jumbo version of a blackberry. Boysenberries contain anthocyanins, which are potent antioxidants that can help with arthritis and age-related memory loss.

Fresh cranberries are composed of more than 85 percent water along with a hefty dose of fiber, but they are rarely eaten fresh since they are so sour and astringent. Instead, cranberries are most often eaten in sweetened form either as dried cranberries or sugary cranberry sauce, and because these foods are concentrated sources of sugar, people with type 2 diabetes should dramatically limit their intake. Both fresh and dried cranberries are a good source of anthocyanins, anti-inflammatory antioxidants that can help with arthritis and age-related memory loss.

Raspberries are composed of more than 85 percent water along with a hefty dose of fiber, which makes them a great fruit to eat if you’re trying to lose weight, lower cholesterol, or manage type 2 diabetes. They are also full of potent antioxidants, including vitamin C and anthocyanins, which can help with arthritis, age-related memory loss, cataracts and other eyesight problems, and maintaining healthy skin and hair.

Strawberries are composed of more than 90 percent water along with a hefty dose of fiber, which makes them a great fruit to eat if you’re trying to lose weight, lower cholesterol or manage type 2 diabetes. They are a good source of folate, a B vitamin that helps maintain healthy hair and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and mood disorders. Additionally, strawberries are full of potent antioxidants, including vitamin C and anthocyanins, which can help with arthritis, age-related memory loss, cataracts and other eyesight problems, and maintaining healthy skin and hair.