When I was a little girl the focus for our family was always on the garden. We didn’t have a lot of money. My father was in the navy, and my mom helped make ends meet by canning and freezing produce from the garden.

We had a HUGE garden. I had my own rows and my brother had his own rows. I had the beans, peas, and tomatoes. My brother had corn, carrots, and beets. So basically we would just live out of the garden. My mom always made the garden fun. It was never a chore. It was a way to connect with nature. Believe it or not, I even like weeding today

One thing we would sometimes do is pick wild elderberries, put them in a basket and sell them at the local grain store. As a family, we were always out picking berries: blackberries, strawberries, gooseberries, and raspberries .We would help freeze them and help mom make jelly and juice with them.

My mom was also a nurse, she was the health professional in our small town. So the focus was on natural living, health and wellness. Even back then my mom would say, “If we eat from the garden, we won’t get sick.” As a kid, it was in one ear and out the other. But in the end, that was the impetus for my eventual focus on healthy living and prevention.

When we moved into the heart of the PA Dutch, we would also go the farmer’s market once a week. (The market is still there today!)The Amish would bring all natural meats, cheese, homemade breads and pastries, and fresh fruits, and veggies. We would enhance our garden with this wonderful fare.

In fact a few months ago I visited an old high school friend from my home town. We took a trip back to the same farmer’s market. It brought back all the wonderful memories; Shoo Fly Pie, beautiful fresh veggies, and yummy fresh berries. It really hadn’t changed other than it has gotten a bit larger. Still it provides the same produce and healthy food that it did once upon a time. It was also great to finally take my husband to Market. It brought back a lot of wonderful feelings. I now can see how this was a foundation for healthy living in my youth.Stand at Roots Market

Then I went off to college. I didn’t have access to all the wonderful foodstuff that I had growing up. My focus was different. Slowly things just started changing. I always tried to have a garden but as I progressed more in my career, teaching and coaching somehow I stopped paying attention to me. And my health started to collapse.

In 1993 after been a teacher for quite some time as well as a coach, some friends of mine convinced me to go on a silent retreat. I went with them to Niagara Falls. (Yes, even I was able to go on a “silent” retreat). Here I had my first experience with Tai Chi and energy. It was here that I experienced holistic medicine for the first time. I was exposed to a naturopath, physical therapist, iridologist and reflexologist.

Upon my return I took my first Reiki class and decided to go to a naturopath. It was time to see if I could change my health for the better. At the time I was on two inhalers for allergy induced asthma. I was also being tested for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Epstein Barre. I was a mess.

That’s when I started changing my diet. I hadn’t been eating properly or at all. I started focusing on me and adding fruits and vegetables to my diet. It was an evolutionary process. It took me years to get to a point back to where I was eating like I was when I was a kid. I was on my wellness journey!

After about 8 years on this journey I was introduced to Juice Plus. At about the same time I had completed all the course work and internship for my certification for Reiki Master Teacher. I researched Juice Plus, and found that it is a great way to get more nutirent dense whole fruits and veggies in my diet and body. For me Juice Plus bridges the gap. It fills the gap of what I actually do compared to what I am supposed to do.

Today I continue to be a Master Reiki Teacher and Practitioner as I have been for over fifteen years. I also am a huge advocate for Juice Plus and the Tower Garden. These are great ways to get all the fruits and vegetables that you need into your system. It was this combined journey of health that inspired me to start my health and wellness coaching business eight years ago. I love working with and helping people get and stay healthy! Please contact me today if you have any questions, I would love to share more of my story – and maybe even become your health and wellness educator.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

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