The (peri) Menopausal Misunderstandings You May Be Seeing Online

My good friend and partner of Powering Through Perimenopause, Carrie Koziol (, just posted an amazing piece on how the exercises you’re finding online could actually be doing more harm than good in the peri and menopausal stages of your life.  Carrie is THE expert and I agree with all she teaches & preaches where her education & experience support her passion.  Here is some great information from her recent blog:

Fallacy #3: Menopause and Sprinting:
One site recommends introducing interval training which they describe as sprinting alternated with a moderate pace.  Now I am a former runner so no judgement.

But I’m also a 40 year old woman so…..”Judgy Wudgy was a Bear.” I do not think that sprinting belongs in a fitness program designed for menopausal women.

High intensity? Yes!  But more important is the low impact.

Here’s what I mean- watch this video:

Having the right information for the stage your body is at- what it will respond to and what will actually harm it- is critical. That’s why Dr. Google can be not only overwhelming, but incorrect. There are too many people out there giving information without the education behind them. What YOU need are experts to help you through this time- to embrace it and not be afraid of it. How? To have all the tools in your hands- the correct ones. Because in all honesty, these are the best years of your life. Join me, Carrie Koziol, and Dr. Katie Johnson as we give you these tools. Live and in person along with a group of amazing women around you to support you. Registration began 8/28 and the course starts 9/13 so don’t wait too long- only 10 spots are saved!

Where: Good Samaritan Health & Wellness Center in Downers Grove

When: Wednesdays, 9:30-11:30 AM from Sept 13-Nov 1, 2017
(childcare available)

Register Here:


New Path I Took- And Can Offer YOU!

New Path I Took- And Can Offer YOU!

I’ve been a tad MIA lately and I apologize!  If you haven’t been following me personally on Facebook, you may not be aware that I wrote & published my first children’s book, “It’s Just Me…Brooklyn” ( ).  The book is about my daughter, Brooklyn, and her two cats as she navigates life on her own and full of pride.  Wow!  What a whirlwind adventure it’s been.  I attended BEA and BookCon in NYC at the end of May where the book came out right after that which has taken me on a whirlwind tour with the book.  During that time I decided what my next series of books will be (yes, I’m officially an author!) and with being a Holistic Health Coach, health is going to be the focus.  In the eyes of my 4 year old, Brooklyn.  Of course the cats will also be a part of the books too ;-).

Most women I’ve worked with who have children ask me “How can I get my family to eat this way?”  My beliefs, values, and focus when it comes to health can apply to children, spouses, parents, the whole family.  It’s not a rocket science formula or complicated diet.  So after a while I thought “I need to do something about this” and started another journey in May.  I obtained another health coaching certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute to work with Families & Children.  Where my next series will focus on holistic health for your child and family- with Brooklyn’s fun, independent and vibrant sense of style.  These books will be a fabulous tool for your family.  We need all the help we can get at times.  Even I do!

With this shift, I was also honored to be a featured panelist at BEA and BookCon with the fabulous Susan Verde who wrote “I am Yoga”, “I am Peace”, “You and Me”, “My Kicks”, “The Water Princess”, and “The Museum”.  We discussed what health means to us for the mind, body, and soul.  Susan and I learned a lot from one another and I consider her a new friend.  I was so honored to sit right next to her and meet such a generous, kind, and healthy soul.  She ignited my passion for these new books even more.

So when do the books come out?  2018 my friend!  I have already started writing them and am just so excited to get them into your hands.  There will be 4 books focusing on all areas of health where you can buy the books as a set or individually.  Stay tuned for more!

Am I still working with women’s health?  I am still passionate about it and will be doing my 8-Week Powering Through Perimenopause course starting September 13th at Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove.  You can register with the hospital starting August 28th.  Other than the course, my focus is going to be the books and speaking where I’m simply hitting “pause” on one-on-one coaching.  But know you can always reach out to me with questions you have or if you need a referral.

XO and I look forward to sharing all my books with you and your family!  Follow me on Instagram (itsjustme_brooklyn) or Facebook (It’s Just Me, Brooklyn) to stay up to date on what’s going on and events I’m hosting.  Or simply go on my book website ( to sign up to be Brooklyn’s penpal to receive all information directly to your inbox.  Thank you for your support, understanding, and I wish you all the best.  I will still be blogging on here btw ;-).



The Top 5 Paths to Hormone Balance

The Top 5 Paths to Hormone Balance

Do you hear the words “hormone balance” and get confused to actually what it means or how you should feel? Do you only associate it with pregnancy or menopause? Or the teenage years?

Hormone health is important at any age and should be at the forefront of you mind your entire lifetime. Hormones are the chemical messengers that make your entire body function. Not just your menstrual cycle. And there are thousands of different kinds for each part of your body.

There are many things that can disrupt your hormones and many things to focus on to increase that function and balance.   Here are 5 that I find important:

  1.  Elimination: Keeping your liver healthy and functioning is so important. The quality of your liver health will determine your hormonal health. Keeping your body full of fiber, water, lessening harmful ingredients that can clog your liver, exercising, and allowing the liver to do the process of elimination at its best. Anything that isn’t eliminated and floats around your system can clog this elimination process.
  2. Blood sugar: This is HUGE. I tell all my clients that balancing your blood sugar is essential to hormone balance AND your health in general. Your weight. Your energy. Your mood. Everything. How do you do this? First, eat a protein-rich breakfast every morning. Yes, you need breakfast. Second, don’t wait too long between meals. Third, graze and listen to your hunger cues. Fourth, every meal should contain the 3 macronutrients in some form. Those are healthy fats, clean proteins, and complex carbohydrates. They slow down the digestive process, which will keep you full and will avoid the blood sugar surges and crashes.
  3. Rest & repair: Sleep! Recover at night with a good night’s sleep. Rest when you’re tired. Stop moving at 110 mph. Unless you have a newborn or a toddler who’s jumping into your bed every five minutes, aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep. In the dark. No TV. No technology. Avoid the tech at least an hour prior to bed.
  4. Stress: This can be from the world around you or what you’re putting inside you. Managing the emotional stresses is essential to hormone health. Stress, and the hormone cortisol, can create inflammation and hormone imbalance if not at the right level. Foods and beverages can do this as well. This includes sugar, alcohol, red meat, refined grains, and dairy. So if you’re getting stress in the mind as well as inside that beautiful body of yours, it’s a double-whammy.
  5. Clean living: Slowly educating and changing your products is so important for hormone health. Endocrine disrupting ingredients can clog your system, confuse your body, and put it in a hormonal tornado. This goes along with liver health. Do you need to throw out your entire bathroom, kitchen, and makeup supplies tonight? No. Start educating yourself on and then slowly make changes. Think of what you and your family use and touch the most first and then within time, swap the ick for the safe.

There are more essentials to hormone balance but I feel these are the most important. If you want to learn more, work with me and I will teach and support you through the changes you want to make. Here’s to your hormonal health and happiness!


Do You Find Yourself Saying “Screw It!” to Eating Healthy? (Don’t!  Read This First!)

Do You Find Yourself Saying “Screw It!” to Eating Healthy? (Don’t! Read This First!)

Every day I’m learning.  Thank goodness I’m open to learning.  For the past 2 weeks I’ve been on my new adventure of obtaining my “Family & Children” Health Coach certification from Dr. Sears (he’s amazing! Click to meet the Doc!) and the one item that I’ve learned and keep thinking about is… MEETING THE INDIVIDUAL WHERE THEY ARE AT.  Not where I want them to be.  I’ve been on this health journey for almost 5 years.  It’s my career, I’ve had 5 years of education, a health coach of my own, I am constantly learning.  The way I eat today took me at least a year to get to.  And I am in an entirely different spot today than I was even a year ago.  My new goal is for women and their families to not feel overwhelm or that they have to reinvent their life in a week.

One example I’m trying to keep this mindset in is through my Kitchen Makeovers I do.  Instead of going through everything with the mindset of “THROW IT OUT!  IT’S GARBAGE!  IT’S TERRIBLE!”, I go through items with the attitude of “What small steps can we make to eventually crowd out these items with healthier items?”  Maybe you have fruit flavored yogurt in your fridge that is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup along with other unidentifiable items.  Try to slowly get to the healthiest option.  Next time it can be vanilla yogurt sweetened with organic cane sugar, then a yogurt with less sugar and full fat, then the following week you can switch to organic, then perhaps your final step is mixing organic plain with your vanilla, eventually getting to the point where your yogurt is organic plain whole fat yogurt.  You can then sweeten it with berries or a drizzle of honey.

Each small change you make will allow your taste buds to adjust and eventually love the healthier option.  But it may take patience, especially with your children.  Maybe you’ve been having chicken finger nights with ingredients that aren’t the best for your littles but perhaps the first step is buying organic chicken fingers (there are plenty of options now) where you slowly get to a point where you are making your own (I make mine in less than 20 minutes prep and cook)?

The key to changing what you put in your body, and your family’s, is to make small changes that build and build to that final result.  To gradually change taste buds, allow for you and the family to get used to the change, to be motivated to make the next change, and eventually you all are eating to fuel your bodies.  Together.  Reach out to me if you want to talk more about this- I’m always learning and trying to make changes for the better.  We can learn together!


How Food Impacts Hormones- And Adjustments I’ve Made

How Food Impacts Hormones- And Adjustments I’ve Made

When you feel something is off, or have been told one or more hormones are not in the right zone, I don’t want you to feel the only answer is medication. Or that your body is not in your hands, that you can’t make an impact on it functioning. Medication is sometimes a necessity- I truly believe that- but I also do believe we’re overly medicating ourselves as well as prematurely medicating ourselves. I love talking to women about how they can start the journey with being in tune with their body and what may be affecting those fun little hormones. To make some changes within their own mind and body. If that journey doesn’t work, THEN let’s talk about the other options. But what if it does work?

I had hormone imbalance last year with my estrogen, testosterone, and my IGF-1 (ignited by my high production of growth hormone) and decided to take things on my own course and see how it went. I saw Dr. Katie Johnson, DC, Lac, of Lotus Health Center where we sat and truly talked about what could be affecting my levels. What came of it was outstanding levels after making some impactful changes and getting retested to see the results. What are some of the changes I’ve made? Below are my top 5 (reach out to me if you want any more!):

  1. Having PROTEIN with breakfast- always. I have always had some form of breakfast, just not consistently or the right breakfast. Many times it was grain-based and I found myself “hangry” an hour later. Which was a sign my blood sugar was crashing, and that dramatically affects our hormones. Now I eat breakfast an hour after waking, sometimes an hour and a half, and I always have a protein in that breakfast. A nut butter in my smoothie, 2 hard-boiled eggs, walnuts in my quinoa “oatmeal”, or leftover salmon from dinner. Protein is key with EVERY meal but especially with breakfast. It is an essential macronutrient that allows your blood sugar to stay balanced, and for you to feel full.
  2. Upping my FIBER. Elimination is such an important key with hormone balance. Keeping that liver of yours happy and functioning at its best is the focus. You don’t need a cleanse, a juice cleanse, or a detox to make your liver and kidneys function at their optimal level. I help women keep the liver on its game with simple lifestyle choices and the right foods. Fiber is one nutrient that helps with this. I aim for 30ish grams a day and do supplement with organic psyllium husk.
  3. Reduction of DAIRY. Growth Hormone is ignited by dairy, especially conventional dairy. My IGF-1 level was pretty high and concerning, and IGF-1 is affected by how much GH is being produced. The solution was to reduce dairy- and some days I have no dairy at all. If I do, it’s grass-fed, organic butter, cheese, or plain yogurt. All are full fat as well, I do not mess with low fat or no fat anything. We don’t need dairy to survive. So many of us have intolerances to it and conventional dairy just has so many yucky things along with synthetic vitamins flushed back into it. But I do love a nice cheese with my wine every now and then!
  4. Reduction of ALCOHOL. I cannot believe I just wrote that. And that I’ve actually reduced my happy juice this past year. I’ve had a wonderful and fun couple of decades that involved a cocktail (or 3!). But after Brooklyn was born, things changed in my body. One glass of wine gave me a hangover for days. Chardonnay was being called “angry juice” by my husband. All of a sudden I was getting headaches galore. I just felt like crap after a night of drinks. I would sip my Cabernet while making dinner or indulge in a glass while watching RHOBH. My sleep was horrific- It would take forever to fall asleep and then at around 2am I would wake and feel I had caffeine pumping through my body. Alcohol, even wine, affects our hormones tremendously. Especially estrogen. I still have a cocktail in my life but it’s dramatically different and only when I have a special night. And to be honest, I am good with just one drink. I know, I can’t believe I just wrote that.
  5. Increasing my GREENS- This goes along with keeping the liver functioning and glowing but also with hormone balance in general. Increasing your veggies with every meal, especially greens, is the way to go with hormone balance. Don’t feel it has to be the cliché salad. Adding veggies to every meal in creative ways is one way I can help you. It is easier than you think and you’ll feel incredible.

Curious as to the many other ways I achieve hormone balance? Get in touch with me to schedule a consult ( or you can join my May 1st Hormone Reset Diet Course & Coaching. Click here to join the Facebook Challenge Group to get to know me and this program:

Happy Hormones, Happy Life!