Dear Classroom Crusader,

I am beyond excited to be a resource for optimizing your health!

Some of you will get to know me as your biggest fan and loudest cheerleader in the process of reaching your health goals. I have spent the past year working towards, researching for, and attending a Functional Medicine Health Coach certification program through the Institute of Functional Medicine. I have predominately lived the principals of clean and healthy living for close to 8 years after experiencing my own health crisis in 2011. I anxiously await the opportunity to share my journey, experience, knowledge, and resources, with you!

I have such a huge space in my heart for teachers and the sacrifices you endure to love on the children of your community. I have witnessed you pour your souls into children that enter your rooms empty from life circumstances beyond their control or understanding. I have heard the stories of financial giving to meet an immediate need of a child for food, clothing, or shelter. I have read the social media posts asking for help to supply classrooms with educational enrichment opportunities in hopes of reaching just one more child.

We can all acknowledge the toll this constant giving of time, energy, expertise, finances, and emotional investment by teachers takes on your health. This past few year have been no exception. The educational terrain is evolving and becoming more stressful in Oklahoma and across the United States with unknown future consequences to teachers, students, or our communities. Therefore, it is imperative we take the time to equip our educators with self-care knowledge and resources to optimize your health. Shifting the educators focus to areas of empowerment, like your personal health journey, will help reduce stress, anxiety, and low morale…all of which contribute to overall compromised health.

I taught in the traditional classroom for 10 years and am well aware of this career’s impact on health. The chronic daily stress, the financial stress, and the emotional stress alone can cause health consequences. Issues like weight gain, poor sleep, chronic fatigue, lots of systemic symptoms without a diagnosis, joint/body pain, depression, anxiety, chronic headaches, brain fog, rashes and food cravings were just a few of my daily struggles. Summer was never enough to recover and the symptoms just compounded season after season until I sacrificed my gall bladder and still experienced no relief. I began seeking non-traditional approaches to health and was able to resolve ALL my symptoms in 3 weeks. I am constantly modifying my lifestyle to maintain balance as I move through different seasons and will help you do the same.

I am proposing to be a resource helping educators with their health journey. Health/Life Coaching is a way for you to create a comprehensive plan to help you reach your goals while maintaining the integrity of your personal values. Every plan is personalized to the individual to create a bridge between your current health status and your desired health goals. I will be offering a few 4 week series with a focused topic to help maximize your time…your most precious commodity. I will be offering these sessions in 2 formats: in person/on site and through a format called ZOOM. ZOOM operates like FaceTime and allows multiple participants into the virtual meeting room at one time. Times and dates and physical locations will be announced as they are determined based on availability and interest at each site. Feel free to register for as many or as few sessions as you desire to learn more about each topic. 

The topics for each 4 week session are as follows:

  1. Stress/Resilience
  2. Sleep/Relaxation
  3. Nutrition/Hydration
  4. Exercise/Movement
  5. Relationships/Networks
  6. Microorganisms/Gut Dysbiosis (Leaky Gut)
  7. Total Toxic Load

Stress and Resilience

In a Pennsylvania State University publication in September 2016 with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, it is stated, “Today, teaching is one of the most stressful occupation in the U.S. High levels of stress are affecting teacher health and well-being, causing teacher burnout, lack of engagement, job dissatisfaction, poor performance, and some of the highest turnover rates ever.” Either you, or someone you know has experienced health consequences due to the demands of this career. Unfortunately, research also shows that teacher stress translates into depressed classrooms and lower student achievement in academics.

I could continue to quote research convincing you that stress has a direct link to health which directly links to performance which directly links student achievement which directly links to the financial standings of every district everywhere. However, the proof is in your school district budget for healthcare and substitutes, reports showing teacher absenteeism, test scores in classrooms correlated to a teacher with chronic absenteeism, and teacher turnover. Eliminating stress is impossible so it is necessary to establish healthy ways to become more resilient to the impacts of stress.

That very same Penn State publication also mentioned programs that had proven to significantly reduce teacher stress as well as positively impact student outcomes and save schools money. Not surprisingly, two of the listed programs were Workplace Wellness Programs and Mindfulness/Stress Management programs. The 4 weeks devoted to Stress Resilience will cover the following topics to facilitate self-discovery and create a personalized action plan to immediately lower stress and regain health.

Week One: Define Your Why

What is your purpose? What were you designed to share with the world? I call this week Home Base. This discovery is where you can always come back to when you begin stressing to remain inspired and calm.


Week Two: Outline Your Strengths

                    Identifying our strengths can help support seasons of transition and maintain forward momentum in a positive direction. This week will explore personal strengths and how to utilize them during times of stress.


Week Three: Raise Your Vibration

Looking on the bright side is half the battle in winning against stress. This week investigates practical ways to avoid negativity and raise your vibration above the stressful energy.


Week Four: Self-Care Strategies

Participating in activities that bring you joy can reinforce the release of “happy hormones” and chronic stress can actually prevent the secretion of our “happy hormones”. Therefore, this week will pursue real ways to incorporate more self-care to fight stress at the hormonal level.

Sleep and Relaxation

Every day we actively participate in life is damaging to different degrees on our mind, body, and soul and sleep is time for the body to recover and regenerate. Just imagine you are a blackboard and everything you encounter through the day is placing a mark on your surfaces. Sleep is the opportunity to clean the marks for a clean surface for the next day’s encounters. Poor or no sleep means each day is marking over or amongst the previous day until no free space remains and the surface begins to break down. Our mental clarity and focus decreases, the body becomes inflamed with aching and bloating as some common symptoms, and our spirit becomes less tolerable to the influences of the world. Cranky, much? Fatigued? Brain Fog?

I can remember just how challenging lecture was for me when my brain just couldn’t stay in the present moment. The translation of information from my head, through my mouth, and into the brains of my students was tarnished with stuttering and jumbled statements that just confused them more. Brain Fog is REAL! The stamina required for the tremendous amounts of patience for each child in my charge needed to be refueled every night with restful sleep and I got cranky and irritable with their insatiable appetites for more attention and assistance. Rapport with my students suffered, relationships with colleagues were strained, and flexibility for change encouraged by administration was disappearing.

Our anatomy and physiology demands rest and recovery for regular maintenance so this program will cover the following topics to develop an action plan for better sleep hygiene and routine relaxation to support the body. Through this program, participants will discover the importance of restful sleep in reaching their health goals, develop routines that fit their existing lifestyles to support better sleep, and have a better understanding of the importance of relaxing throughout their day to help reinforce mind, body, and soul resilience.

Week One: Routine

As humans, we love the predictability routines bring because of the peace that is delivered with them. This week will facilitate the creation of realistic routines to reinforce better sleep quality and bring peace to the process.


Week Two: Resources and Environment

So many things we can do to support restful sleep by incorporating a few resources into our routine. Week 2 focuses on setting our sleep environment for catching the best Z’s and investigating resources to help you reach your sleep goals.


Week Three: Disordered Sleeping Interventions

Focus, endurance, safety, disease prevention, and better quality of life are just a few things interrupted by disordered sleeping. Week 3 outlines a few of the major disordered sleeping challenges and the importance of an early intervention for your health. Chronic Fatigue, Sleep Apnea, Snoring, REM Sleep will be a few areas of discussion. 


Week Four: Relaxation

Everyone finds peace in a different place. This week will guide each participant to identify moments, places, activities that truly bring harmony and calm to their spirit. Meditation and connection can be found through many different activities in order to bring balance to our nervous systems and hormones. This week equips the participant with options and skills to actively shift both systems into a more peaceful state.

Nutrition and Hydration

Diet, restriction, Keto, Paleo, Mediterranean, DASH, low-Carb, track your macros, juice, low-sodium, low-fat, high fat…blah, blah, blah. The nutritional terrain is so confusing! This program will help participants get real facts about how to fuel their bodies to get real, sustainable results.

A teacher’s schedule is never their own so creating food options to support the chaotic daily demands is critical for maintaining classroom stamina. Food is fuel for our immune system and germ warfare is a battle we cannot afford to lose. Food is energy to meet the objectives and help

Week One: What the Heck Should I Eat?

So many contradicting opinions and plans to choose can be overwhelming! This week is a general overview of some basic transitions towards more wholesome nutrition. The goal for this week is to equip the participants with real options to develop better nutrition habits.


Week Two: Let’s Get Personal

Everyone’s nutritional needs and goals are unique and deserve a personalized approach honoring genetics, ethnicity, palate preferences, and culinary capabilities. Week 2 customizes the discoveries from Week 1.


Week Three: Waterlogged

Our bodies require water to carry out physiological processes. When there isn’t enough, some activities cannot be performed and the whole system suffers. This week will make participants aware of their current hydration status and create action steps to achieve optimal hydration.


Week Four: “Fasting” Track to Lower Inflammation

Inflammation drives disease. This week will look at the physiological benefits of incorporating different types of fasting.


Exercise and Movement

Male, female, preference, pre-existing conditions, hormone status, goals, and schedule are just a few factors influencing how we gravitate to a specific style of movement. We also find that the routine getting us to our goals in one season are not making any difference in another season. Therefore, listening to and knowing our bodies is pivotal in reaching the desired outcome without injury.

Incorporating movement impacts stress, body chemistry, mood, self-esteem, energy, BMI, and many other aspects of optimal health. As teachers, you are the source of stability in the classroom so you don’t get the opportunity to have extreme emotions. Kids are extremely perceptive and will know when your mood changes or stress is high. These energy shifts can derail the entire lesson. Get it where you can and multitasking will be a common theme through this month of exploration.

Week One: Match your Movement

Everyone is different and requires a different type of movement to maximize results according to individual needs and goals. Week 1 provides a great overview of different types of movement based on need and goals. Cardio, strength training, HIIT, and Yoga are just a few options covered this week.


Week Two: Balance your Hormones

This week is focused on exploring how movement impacts our different hormones. Your fitness routine impacts irisin, estrogen, testosterone, human growth hormone, and cortisol. Therefore, we can modify your exercise to help support hormonal balance in your life!


Week Three: Define Results

What does success look like to you? How will you track your progress? How do you know when you have reached your goal? This week will help participants define their goals and the steps to get there with built in accountability.


Week Four:  Implementation

Each participant has a unique life based on routines, support systems, challenges, finances, and plenty of other dimensions that will impact accomplishing their movement goals. This week builds awareness of these unique characteristics so that successful implementation is supported by life as we know it in our current season.


Relationships and Networks

We have all experienced a toxic relationship or two at one point or another in our lives and noticed the impacts it had on our mental and physical health. We have also noticed the influence of positive and encouraging relationships on our mental and physical health. There is a direct connection between the company you keep and your outlook on life. It can be extremely uncomfortable and difficult to make positive life changes if the people you are around the most do not support change or, in some cases, direct energy to sabotage your efforts. “You are an average of the 5 people you spend the most time with” according to Jim Rohn, a motivational speaker. You should constantly be auditing the energy you allow to influence your life to ensure they are in alignment with your goals and values. Sometimes we outgrow people as we enter new seasons and that is ok.

I don’t know about you, but it is so much easier to have that extra glass of wine or have that piece of cake with the rest of my girlfriends instead of honoring my knowledge that I won’t feel well. This week works on communication options to navigate social situations surrounding your lifestyle change adherence while not alienating your social network or becoming a recluse. Through my own health journey, I quickly learned I could not heal in the same environment that I got sick in so I sought out a new tribe that served my new direction. You can’t change the people around you but you can change who you choose to be around.

Week One: Find Your Tribe

“Show me your friends and I will show you your future” can be a great measuring stick for outcomes in goal setting. This week will focus on how to manifest the support and accountability needed for lifestyle change success.


Week Two: Power of Positivity

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” -Wayne

Dyer. A foundational piece to behavior change is mindset. Week 2 is designed to rewire your default perception to positive. These tools will help with motivation to sustain the changes you desire.


Week Three: FOMO

Fear Of Missing Out is real ya’ll! Holiday dinners, free food in the break area, that special restaurant delicacy, hectic schedules…will often tempt us to step out of alignment with our goals and values for our health. This week will help develop skills to create balance and not be influenced by fear or anxiety.


Week Four: Navigating Your Health Journey in Relationships

This week we will organize our influences and brainstorm proactive ways to establish healthy boundaries with the people we love and honor our new lifestyle. 

Micro-Organisms and Gut Dysbiosis

Do you wonder why you have carb cravings, gas, bloating, fatigue after eating? These are just a few of the symptoms connected to a gut out of balance. Nutrient deficiencies, brain fog, chronic inflammation, skin rashes, depression, and anxiety can also manifest when we experience leaky gut. We make choices every day that will impact the integrity of our gut lining and the balance of the bacteria that live inside to help us digest our food. From food to medicine to environmental influences or stress, you will have a better grasp of your own possible perpetuators and begin to repair the damage.

Teaching is a high intensity sport that requires a clear head for quick decisions. Your brain has to have the ability to stay on point and progress the class to maintain objective schedules and you will need the energy to keep up with their hunger for the next activity!

Week One: Leaky Gut = Leaky Brain

Your gut is your second brain and the two are connected by the vagus nerve. A gut that has increased permeability promotes inflammation which is linked to depression and other psychiatric comorbidities. This week will cover the basics about gut permeability and how it influences your journey to optimal health!


Week Two: Bacteria Balance

Good guys vs. Bad Guys and making choices to increase the good guys and kill off the bad. Creating balance will help promote better digestion and absorption. Week 2 will look at symptoms experienced as well as food substitutions to lower inflammation and promote balanced flora.


Week Three: 5 R Gut Protocol

Remove. Replace. Reinoculate. Repair. Rebalance. This week will personalize your action steps through each phase of gut healing.


Week Four: Support Resources for Sustainability

This capstone week will be an opportunity for each participant to create their own unique set of guidelines to remain successful after this course. Accountability. Supplements. Food choices. Plus many more necessary areas.

Total Toxic Load

I tell my clients that everyone carries around a bucket every day. We make choices about what we put in or on our bodies and how we subject ourselves to environmental pollutants. This could include, medicine, hygiene products, sales receipts, smoking, food sourcing, cleaning products, dental work, and sometimes our jobs or hobbies have toxins that can contribute. Our bodies have amazing ways to filter and detox certain assaults. However, if the amount becomes too great and in too quick succession, our bodies begin to tattle on us. Clearing your throat a lot, runny nose, random rash, as well as many other ways our bodies tell us our bucket is full.

Back to school ushers in a wave of stress after a peaceful summer. Stress increases, sleep decreases, nutrition goes wonky, and we scarcely hydrate for fear of not being able to escape to the restroom. All these additions and subtractions can wreak havoc on our bucket balance.

Week One: Environmental Toxins

EVERYWHERE! Awareness of areas like food sourcing, hygiene products, cleaning products, cookware, food storage, drink storage, EMF, sales receipts, dental work, work environment will help us identify common areas of exposure. Substitutions and balance will be central themes this week.


Week Two: How Full is Your Bucket?

After spending time in week 1 identifying potential toxins in our lives, we can truly identify the ones we are carrying in our buckets every day. Taking inventory of our choices and products will help make space in our bucket for things we may not be able to change immediately or at all.


Week Three: Allocating Space in Your Bucket

After spending time in week 2 identifying potential toxins in our bucket and potential substitutes, we can now appropriately manage our bucket balance. This week will help participants discern what must be substituted for now and what has to stay for a bit.


Week Four: Overflow

What happens if our bucket fills faster than our bodies can filter and detox? This week will discuss the ramifications of our bucket becoming too full too fast. A full bucket can lead to chronic inflammation which can lead to disease.