Asian Zucchini Noodles Healthy Meal Prep Recipe

Eating healthy can’t taste good. OR. Eating healthy can totally taste good. Chances are you’re on one side of that debate. Perhaps eating “healthy” sends nightmare images of living off of cucumber slices and raw spinach forever. Asian Zucchini Noodles Healthy Meal Prep is no exception.

Heres a secret…. Continue reading “Asian Zucchini Noodles Healthy Meal Prep Recipe”

Hummus and Chicken Protein Bowl Recipe

Looking for a quick veggie and protein packed lunch? Look no further than this simple Hummus and Chicken Protein Bowl. It takes less than 1o minutes to meal prep for an entire week’s worth of lunches, and its oh so tasty. Continue reading “Hummus and Chicken Protein Bowl Recipe”

3 Ways to Eat What You Want and Lose Weight

You may be saying, “No Loren, you can’t eat anything and still lose weight!”

Maybe losing weight sends a picture of salads (no dressing) and raw carrot sticks.

Perhaps weight loss sends you into a nervous sweat when thinking about the gym.

Im here to change all of that! I eat pizza and drink beer every weekend.

I’m building my dream, skinny jeans-ready body too.

To truly lose weight we must adjust our lifestyle. No amount of starvation and deprivation will create lifelong change. That quick no carb, no chocolate diet will last a couple of weeks at best. It will also create a terrible relationship with food. Instead, I’ve learned how to eat all of the foods I want and still lose weight. Finally, no calorie counting, no elimination diets, no grumpiness.

 

Here’s how eat what you want and still lose weight.

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1. Get four servings of veggies daily

  • 85% of weight loss happens with changes in nutrition.
  • When I get all 4 servings of veggies in something amazing happens. I feel better. I stay full longer. It makes sure I’m getting essential nutrients.
  • Even better? I have zero guilt about indulging in that pizza and beer on Friday when I know I’ve had an amazing and healthy day.
  • How? I add spinach to my morning TrimShake. I have 2 greens at lunch. Finally, I meal prep veggies for dinner. There are endless ways to get them in daily. Message me for more ideas!
  • Adding in fruits is essential also! I aim for 4 veggies and 3 fruits a day.

2. Drink water

  • I divide my body weight in half and convert that number to the number of ounces I drink each day. Honestly, I go way over because of my health struggles
  • I keep a giant Yeti cup with water and lemon essential oil filled at all times. It’s a great flavor AND a great source of antioxidants.
  • Ditching soda is the best thing I ever did. They are filled with sugar and calories. I don’t want to drink my calories, I prefer to eat them 😜. Sodas are also known for toxic chemicals and questionable ingredients that hinder weight loss and muscle building. {Now, I still have my Dr. Pepper and whisky cokes every now and then. But, I’m not dependent on it. I’ve learned to love fruity water and sparkling water.}
  • So, flush those toxins, hydrate your body, and use a little self care with water.

3. Don’t starve, eat 6 times a day

  • Growing up, my family used to say your body needs fuel. It’s so true! People who do super low calorie and starvation diets actually hinder healthy weight loss. The body needs protein, carbs, and yes even fat. Without it, the body can’t build lean muscle and burn fat properly.
  • I was tired of yo-yo starvation diets that made me feel guilty. Instead, I found that eating six small meals (now, don’t have McDonald’s 6 times a day) gave my body constant fuel and nutrition it craved.
  • It makes me drop weight like no ones business!

Here’s an example  of my daily meals

  1. Breakfast: dōTERRA Trimshake with banana, spinach (can’t taste it), and almond milk
  2. Snack: Greek yogurt with friut
  3. Lunch: Veggie and Chicken Pasta Primavera
  4. Snack: OneBar (for protein around workout)
  5. Dinner: Fajita Bowl
  6. Snack: Chocolate peanut butter protein mug cake (recipe on my Instagram Story!)          with black berries and strawberries

flat lay photography of vegetable salad on plate

Find what works for you, we’re all unique!

At the end of the day, once I hit my gym goals and my nutrition goals, I comfortably indulge in my favorite foods without guilt. No one should live with guilt over food. In all honesty, every food has a certain place in any diet. It’s all about learning to get the right combinations and exercising along the way.

I help women with health challenges create confidence to rock those skinny jeans while eating pizza and beer by learning how to workout and eat on their own terms. If you feel stuck or are ready to get into those skinny jeans, send me a message or DM. I share tips daily on Instagram. Let’s follow each other and cheer each other on!

Loren Cooley 918200 Silver

Loren is a wellness advocate, a Special Education Teacher, a recent newlywed, and a hospice volunteer. Hiking, tea, visiting local breweries with her husband, photography, chocolate, and reading, are some of her favorites. 

Be sure to follow the blog and connect with me on Instagram and Facebook for daily tips and inspo! 

Three Things Mitochondrial Disease Taught Me

For the first 13 years of my life, I wondered if I really was a drama queen about pain or minor illnesses. I may be dramatic about somethings (just ask my husband), but this isn’t one of them. It was a huge relief just to know that there was indeed something happening in my body that was causing all of my issues. Finally, I was diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disease.

Through all of the days I was sick, when I missed sleepovers, exams, prom, and moved back home from college, I knew there was a purpose for it all. These are the three thing I learned from having Mitochondrial Disease.

What is Mitochondrial Disease?

Mitochondria are responsible for creating 90% of the energy needed to sustain life and support organ function. So, Mitochondrial disease (Mito) is the result of either inherited or spontaneous mutations in mtDNA or nDNA which lead to altered functions of the proteins or RNA molecules that normally reside in mitochondria.

Think about the mitochondria in cells as batteries. Each cell in our bodies is powered by its own battery. However, people with Mito have defective batteries. Our batteries can’t fully recharge themselves. You know when you’re iPhone warns you that the battery is at 20%? That is the level of Mito power some people live with daily. We have to go into “low power mode” and conserve what little energy is left.

It’s hard to say how many people are impacted by Mito, because many go their entire lives without a proper diagnosis. It is estimated that anywhere from 1 in 4,000 to 1 in 6,000 have a form of Mito.

Three Things Mito Taught Me

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1. I am Stronger Than I Ever Thought Possible…

First of all, strength is not a word most people associate with chronic illness. Say the words genetic disease to a “normal person” and watch them squirm with awkwardness. Their minds are filled with images of IVs, handicap stickers, and feeding tubes. However, it is true. With Mito, or any chronic illness, comes an entirely new level of strength. My brother, mother, and I all have Mito. It impacts us in unique ways and at different levels. I wrote about all of my challenges in this post last year.

So, back to strength. I had to endure countless hospital visits full of unpleasant tests (spinal taps aren’t fun y’all). I’ve had my blood drawn so many times that my veins started forming valves (bicuspid flap-like structures). During my junior year of high school, I had to leave all of my friends and my school of 16 years to be homeschooled due to illness. I had to learn how to be proactive with protecting my immune system and keeping cluster migraines in check. Many mornings I had to push through pain and fatigue to even take a shower.

More than physical strength, I also had to become mentally strong. It is so disheartening to be a child or teenager and not be able to join the “normal” things my peers did. Keeping the mentality that I have Mito to serve some greater purpose is a powerful way to live. Even in the most depressing situation, socially or physically, I kept that in mind. I truly believed it then, and I truly believe it now.

If you have Mito or are in a similar situation, you are strong. You are powerful. We fight for more on a daily basis than some people will fight in their entire lives. So what if I missed prom? Was I devastated at the time? Yes. Do I care now at the age of 24? Nope. In fact, I’m going to make a confession. I’m pretty glad I didn’t have to go through some of the temptations that most teenagers face and later regret. Be thankful for what you are missing. As weird as it sounds, you are better off because of it. We are totally unique people because of this. The world needs our special perspectives and experiences. Acknowledge the superhero strength we’ve been gifted.

2. I Know the Power of True friendships…

Isolation is a real thing. One of my mentors, someone who truly connected with me through the worst of my Mito, ministers to people who are ill. He said, a person undergoing many rounds of chemo asked him, “where are all of my people? Everyone left.” Thats a true statement. For people who are “normal,” this whole sick thing can be intimidating….Not everyone, but generally speaking. I can’t tell you the number of times in high school I thought about the phrase out of sight, out of mind. I was never at school. I couldn’t hang on the weekends. Forget about doing sports or extracurriculars. I was out of sight. Because of that, I left the minds of many people I thought of as friends. Sure, we texted every now and then. But, it just wasn’t the same.

However, instead of getting caught up in the loss of those “friendships,” I found comfort in my core group. I realized that I didn’t want those fake friendships. Why waste my time with people who didn’t care about things outside of their little bubble? I want true, deep, lasting, supportive friendships. The kind that lasts decades and crosses state lines. That’s exactly what I found. I discovered there are people whose hearts are unimaginably giving. My best friend, who was also my maid of honor in November, is one of those people, along with several other girls I have known since elementary and middle school. Three of them were my bridesmaids. It is so special to look at my wedding photos and think about how much they mean to me. They are patient. They understand that I can’t always go out, but that I still am here for them. They are always here for me. I wouldn’t trade my small group of true friends for a thousand phony friendships.

Find comfort in your people. There is real value in the statement quality over quantity. Don’t look on Instagram and compare yourself to people going out with a huge group every night. Instead, I choose to be thankful for the overwhelming love I have in my small tribe.

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3. I Can Still Impact and Inspire People…

There was a time I was living between my couch and my bed. The walk to the kitchen was even tiresome. How could I, the girl who is sick, possibly make a difference in the world? What is the purpose of these weird Mito symptoms? Surely it’s not just to make my daily life challenging. My family taught me from a young age that helping people is one of the most important things in life. It took some time and a lot of searching on my part, but I found small ways to make an impact.

First, I created an online jewelry business. When I made a sale, I included a handwritten note thanking and encouraging my customer. To my surprise, people left raving reviews about getting my tiny notes. I realized that making an impact doesn’t mean doing something huge. Even the tinniest gestures make people smile.

Next, I started sponsoring a child through Compassion International. Every other week, I would write a short letter with a coloring page or baseball card and pop it in the mail. I got so many replies from my sponsor child. Seeing his smiling face in photos with my letters made my weeks. I actually was able to see him through to his high school graduation. Something that is rare in his part of the world. Talk about feeling fulfilled. I’m pretty sure he brought ten times more happiness to me than I could ever give to him.

I also joined Facebook support groups of Mito. I posted and got support from people like me who understand the struggle. I made friends across the country. I lift them up in hard times and find ways to brighten their dark days.

All of this is to say, find a way to help someone. With so many apps and types of technology, it is super easy to find low commitment ways to communicate and support people. Find a passion and pursue it online. Make someone’s day brighter.

What About Today?

As I started using natural products, I started realizing my body was doing better. When I give it the things it needs for balance, I am able to do more things. Five years ago, I started to see the change. I slowly began a new healthier life. I work full time as a special education teacher. I found and married the love of my life. I’ve had six minor colds in five years. That’s it. Not hospital visits or long term illnesses. I’m training for a 5k. I walk half a mile every day with my blue tick hound puppy, Beau. These are things I never even imaged as possibilities.

Now, I see that those years of struggling have meaning. I still have days with Mito flares. However, I have more “normal” days. I use my past to reach out and help people who are in similar situations. I run a business where I focus on helping people with unique wellness challenges. I’m their friend, cheerleader, and confidant. More than that, I provide easy solutions for comfort and supporting the body. None of that would mean anything, if I didn’t personally have health struggles.

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The Bottom Line

There are blessings to be found in the struggles. None of these challenges are pointless. In fact, they are the most important lessons I’ve learned in my 24 years. I’m a better person today because of Mito. Yeah, I said it. So, go celebrate who you are. Find beauty in the pain. And, if you need a friend, I’m here! Nothing makes me happier than finding new friends. Let’s chat, laugh, cry, FaceTime with my puppy, and make the pain a little less severe. Even more of my crazy life is shared on Instagram and Facebook. Join up with my wellness family. Subscribe here, I’m sending out virtual hugs.

Loren Cooley 918200 Silver

Loren is a wellness advocate, a Special Education Teacher, a recent newlywed, and a hospice volunteer. Hiking, tea, visiting local breweries with her husband, photography, chocolate, and reading, are some of her favorites. 

Be sure to follow the blog and connect with me on Instagram and Facebook for daily tips and inspo! 

5 Benefits of Taking Lifelong Vitality Multivitamins

Raise your hand if you eat a perfectly balanced diet with ideal nutrients. How about the perfect amount of exercise? Anyone? No?

Me either! Thats why it is so so so important to take a multivitamin to balance things out. I’ve been taking dōTERRA’s Lifelong Vitality Pack for 5 years. I’ve never looked back. In fact, I’ve only looked forward. I’ve lost weight. I’ve given my body the amount of energy it needs. I’ve increased my goals at the gym and reached them. Continue reading “5 Benefits of Taking Lifelong Vitality Multivitamins”

3 Essential Oils to Improve Your Workout

Stick with me through this little story…I was the kid who hated PE. The kid that threw up after the mile run. I took piano so I could get out of gym one day a week. I was also the kid with the weird Chronic Illness that couldn’t exercise normally. Continue reading “3 Essential Oils to Improve Your Workout”

How to Use Bergamot Essential Oil

Anyone else feeling super overwhelmed? I made this fabulous list of New Years resolutions. I’m going to workout harder, I’m going to plan more hands-on lesson plans for my students, I’m going to build my online presence like never before, I’m going to read more. The list goes on and on.

The New Year is causing me anxious feelings. Lukily, I have an oil for that! doTERRA Bergamot is a citrus oil with a light floral scent. It is unique because of it’s uplifting and calming properties. These unique properties make it ideal to help ease anxious or sad feelings. Today, I’m sharing how to use doTERRA’s Bergamot Essential Oil. Continue reading “How to Use Bergamot Essential Oil”

No Bake Power Protein Balls

It’s a new year, and that means everyone is buckling down and trying to eat healthier and take better care of their bodies. My husband and I are no exception. We go to the gym regularly and love meal prep Sunday. We’ve been struggling to snack on healthy foods though. Then, I came across a recipe for No Bake Protein Balls and everything changed. Jordan says they’re his favorite thing I cook. I don’t know if thats a good or bad thing? 😉 Continue reading “No Bake Power Protein Balls”

Our Engagement Story

‘Tis the season for engagements, falalalalala 🎼

My engagement story went something like this, “You look terrible. Will you marry me?” Ok, maybe something happened in between there. Christmas time is the perfect time for engagements, but I’m biased because I got engaged exactly one year and three days ago today. I’m here to remind you that engagements are not about the perfect proposal…Just look at the “fairytale” bachelor proposals that end up in tabloid flames. It’s about who you’re saying yes to spending the rest of your life with. Continue reading “Our Engagement Story”

How to Christmas Shop on a Budget

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Photo by monicore on Pexels.com

If you’re like me, you have a massive list of people to shop for this Christmas. I’m just going to keep it real here. This is a Christmas of many firsts for me. My first Christmas as a homeowner. My first Christmas with a full time teaching job. Most excitingly, this is my first Christmas as a wife. My first truly adult-feeling Christmas.

Do you know what that really means? My shopping budget is T I G H T, TIGHT. Here’s Continue reading “How to Christmas Shop on a Budget”