About

Welcome! I’m glad you stopped by!

I’m Jessica, but you can call me Jess. I am a mother of four, who, through dietary changes was able to get a handle on my chronic illness, improve my fitness, and start enjoying more adventures with my family.

My Story

In 2004, after years of constant pain, I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis, also known as painful bladder condition. To put it simply, while most bladders stretch as they start to fill, mine doesn’t. It tears instead. This can be extremely painful at times. After my diagnosis, I was pretty much told to avoid acidic food. I was also told to avoid doing any activities that would cause any strain, stretch or impact on my core. Despite medication and surgeries, I was still in pain most of the time. I had to stop working and started gaining weight. My husband and I were told that having kids wasn’t going to happen for us, either.

In 2008, I was diagnosed with a second chronic illness, diabetes inspidus, which means that my body doesn’t process water correctly. I was constantly dehydrated, randomly passing out, and miserable. My days revolved around my medication schedule, and my weeks revolved around surgical procedures to try to make me feel better. While I was doing my best to figure out how to help myself, I was quickly losing hope.

Then, in 2010, one of my husband’s colleagues mentioned Paleo to him. Initially, we made fun of the idea, but after my husband read The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf, we decided to slowly make some changes to our diet.

Finding Hope

In the beginning, we simply started adding more vegetables to our diets. I realized that we were eating grains at every single meal, so we started replacing some of them with more vegetables. That seemed to help, so I started looking for Paleo recipes online and starting planning more paleo meals. I started feeling better and losing weight. I was able to slowly start doing yoga and taking short walks each day.  In 2012, I became pregnant.

Now, I have four amazing children, three girls, and a boy, and am constantly working on improving my health. I try to share kid-friendly, budget-friendly meals, workouts that are easy to do at home, and ideas to bring your family together. It is my desire to share hope with people struggling with chronic illness, and improve their relationships with food, fitness, and family.

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Instagram

  • Easy chicken stir fry for dinner tonight! I used chicken, veggies that I prepped earlier in the week for the kids’ veggie tray and the Stir Fry Sauce from @nomnompaleo. I can’t use orange just though, because it’s bad for my interstitial cystitis, so I used the juice from one of my kid’s juice boxes.... adapt and overcome, right?
  • Yesterday was a struggle with my health. I wanted to work out, but I knew that my body needed rest. It’s okay to rest. It’s okay to recover.
  • My three year old made me this crown and insists that I wear it all the time. She says it’s because I’m the Queen. 👸🏼👸🏼💁🏼‍♀️Clearly, she gets it.... 😂🤣
  • This week has been a rough one. The negative nancies were out in full force, but at the end of the day, their negativity has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with their own struggles. All I can do is offer kindness is return and keep doing what works for me. 🤷🏼‍♀️
  • There’s a 💯 percent chance that I would have completely forgotten that today was cinco de Mayo had I not gotten an email from @nomnompaleo today linking me to this recipe for Instant Pot Carnitas. So, clearly, I had to make it, and it’s SOOOOOO yummy! 😉
  • Me: I have so many things to do this week. 
Also Me: Why don’t I made homemade sun butter cups for the PTO bake sale this week....🤦🏼‍♀️
The recipe is from @daniellewalker
  • #momhack I usually keep a veggie tray in my fridge. The kids pick out what goes in it (this week, they wanted some fruit in there too). Then, when they ask me a snack for the 10 millionth time in a day, I tell them to pull out the veggie tray. Sometimes, I load the center up with cheese cubes, too. It’s easy and healthy. I prep it once and reload it as needed throughout the week.
  • Will workout for 🍕🍕Wall sprint intervals, followed by 4 rounds of the workout on the second slide. And this shirt from @bejuststrong is super breathable and comfortable. Use code JESSTO10 at juststrong.com to save 10% and try it yourself!
  • Stomach bugs, head colds, sore throats, ear infections, and flu 😷 have all invaded our house in the past few weeks. Most days, I haven’t even hit my step goal, let alone my workout goals. But that’s part of the process too. Knowing when to rest is so important, and I still struggle with it. Today, I was able to get back to my workouts. I did two of the equipment free workouts from my latest blogpost. 10 second sprint intervals and the squats-pushups-pull-ups workout.
  • I’m a little, okay, a lot slow to the podcast thing. So far, the @kidsbiblestories podcast is a nightly family routine. (My kids LOVE it). Today, I’ve started listening to the Rise podcast by @msrachelhollis. Who else listens to podcasts? I’d love some recommendations
  • The amazingly talented @elizabethbaxter is sharing what she uses for her photography setup in her instagram stories. If you’ve you ever been curious what equipment others are using to get those amazing shots, it’s worth checking out! (You should totally be following her anyway, because she is super talented, so sweet, funny, and mom to some exceptionally cute little dudes)
  • Improving your health can be as simple as taking a daily shot! #affiliate https://buff.ly/2CBiUrb https://buff.ly/2HOLwk8

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