No more tears!

I hate onions…I mean I don’t hate them…I actually love them. I use them in so much cooking it’s ridiculous…but what I hate is the tears.  The first slice is always the worst…as of course the tears come pouring down my face, the nose starts dripping…oh yes, I’m a glorious mess by the time I even get to cooking the recipe.

So I had the ingenious or crazy idea to cut a bunch of onions so as to limit the amount of times I cried.  So yes, for an entire evening my husband and I cut and cried together and we now have three huge glorious gallon sized bags of chopped onions with which to pull from.  It’s awesome! I just chip away some frozen onions when needed and there is no need to cry…only skip for joy!

My fellow Pinterest lovers will know exactly what I’m talking about when I say trying to figure out life hacks! We try to figure out the not so obvious ways to make something a little easier.  We do it with meal prep…organization..even with relationships (I’ll just text this person and then I won’t have to talk to them.).

I’m all about the secret cuts usually.  After all what mom isn’t eager to save a half hour off dinner prep?! But when do our life hacks cut us out of what we need to feel or do to succeed, even if there are some tears?  Sometimes the questions are easy and sometimes they aren’t. I encourage you to ask yourself the tough questions of “what’s holding me back” and “Why haven’t I attained this goal” because once we stop with some of the easy questions, followed by the easy answers…then maybe we actually will find the rock hard foot hold to take that first step to where we want to actually be (in a better relationship, career, or in a better balance mentally).  You got this and remember in all the small ways to make today yours!

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  • 1 week ago

Splish Splash!

I love this topic.  We underestimate the value of water! After all it’s so common; how could something so ordinary be of that importance?!  Water is so awesome for the body!  The body is made up of 70% water…hello! Clearly we might need some of this…yet why is it SOOOOO important!?!?

Water is needed for most body functions, including to:

  • maintain the health and integrity of every cell in the body
  • keep the bloodstream liquid enough to flow through blood vessels
  • help eliminate the byproducts of the body’s metabolism, excess electrolytes (for example, sodium and potassium), and urea, which is a waste product formed through the processing of dietary protein
  • regulate body temperature through sweating
  • moisten mucous membranes such as those of the lungs and mouth
  • lubricate and cushion joints
  • reduce the risk of cystitis by keeping the bladder clear of bacteria
  • aid digestion and prevent constipation
  • moisturize the skin to maintain its texture and appearance
  • carry nutrients and oxygen to cells
  • serve as a shock absorber inside the eyes, spinal cord

…just to name a few!

Sometimes we aren’t getting enough water…if you have any of these symptoms maybe you should look as close as the kitchen tap!

  • thirst
  • headaches
  • lethargy
  • mood changes and slow responses
  • dry nasal passages
  • dry or cracked lips
  • dark-colored urine
  • weakness
  • tiredness
  • confusion

So dare I say it…but drink! Drink water!   Make today yours! -Renee

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  • 3 months ago

Bacon Pancake Sandwiches…..oh yes I cannot wait to try these gorgeous things! Thanks nomnompaleo…for making me drool as I dream of breakfast!


Bacon Pancake Sandwiches by Michelle Tam

I know what you’re thinking: BACON? PANCAKE? SANDWICHES? All are clichés in the Paleo food world (and let’s not kid ourselves: they’re certainly not health food), but there are reasons why they’re so popular:

Bacon and pancakes are mind-bendingly delicious, and who doesn’t like eating with their hands?

Bacon Pancake Sandwiches by Michelle Tam

So yes: I’m totally pandering to the masses (and my own taste buds) with this recipe.

But that’s not all: I’m also posting because I NEED YOUR HELP. Our Nom Nom Paleo iPad app is the only Paleo nominee for a prestigious Webby Award (yay!), and voting is closing soon (on April 24, at 11:59 pm PDT). We’re up against the formidable Jamie Oliver app, and we’re neck-and-neck with the celebrity chef. His PR machine has been mobilizing his legions of fans to vote, so to avoid getting creamed, I need to do the same! If you haven’t already cast a ballot, and if you dig what you see on Nom Nom Paleo, please do me a solid: go vote and share this link ( with your pals! Thanks in advance, Nomsters!

(Update on 4/28/14: We WON the People’s Voice Award in our category thanks to all your votes! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!)


Now, where was I? Oh, yeah: Bacon + Pancakes + Sandwich = Paleo Kryptonite.

Bacon Pancake Sandwiches by Michelle Tam

I don’t post recipes for treats very often, but when I do, I make sure they’re worth singing about

Get excited!

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  • 4 months ago
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Come on Coach…put me in the game!!

Let’s get healthy!  But what does that mean?  Is it a certain number on the scale?  The “right”size jean?  A certain quantity of consumed pieces of broccoli? Or being able to run effortlessly around the block?

Healthy is not a one size fits all thing!  Healthy ultimately is a combination of factors.  Health is composed of your body and mind and every other aspect that makes up you.

 In the Health Coaching biz we call it Primary and Secondary Foods.  Primary Food is “food” that feeds the intangible parts to us.  It’s the relationships, our spiritual life, our satisfaction with our job etc.  If Jane is a size 1, has gorgeous skin, runs daily, and is in a negative co-dependent relationship…we’d say that Jane isn’t at her optimum health.  Secondary Food is the typical understanding of what we put into our bodies…the dinners, the drinks…etc.  So if Susie has awesome relationships, a satisfying career but feels sluggish and rundown in her day-to-day routine …we’d say she’s not at her ultimate health potential.  Ultimately in both women they have found health in different aspects of their lives but are still missing a piece to the puzzle. 

Health coaching can help fix that gap.  When you watch any sports game there is one person that is always sitting out of the game but integral to the way the game is played.  Hint…the coach!  Just like a coach of a game a Health Coach is able to see and point out some of the strategies to get you to your goal, and will help you recognize common pitfalls.  It’s an awesome way to get a bird’s eye view and help you win instead of feeling defeated by stumbling blocks.

So the great thing is I can help with your goals!  A healthy you doesn’t just have to be an idea…it can be your reality…and you can start today! Email me at and we’ll schedule  your free health coaching session today!

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  • 4 months ago

Warning! There may be singing!

 And my Ace of Base fans… “ I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes…” We can read signs on the walls, buildings and even road signs and we somehow understand the warning or instruction of what to do or what’s coming up.  The signs that it seems we ignore are the ones that our body gives us. It’s no secret I love coffee…as most friends and dear husband can attest a lot of socialization revolves around Renee enjoying a cup of java with you!  That being said… my college years and especially the rest of my 20’s went through the yo-yo phase of tired, a jolt of energy from my coffee/caffeine and then back to being tired.  What I couldn’t understand was that there were times where I would drink my cup of coffee and then NEED a nap…wasn’t it supposed to be the opposite effect?!? But I wasn’t ready to look at the possibility that maybe my coffee fix wasn’t fixing anything!

 Finally inspired by my little brother who gave up caffeine cold-turkey I decided to give it a try.  What was hardest wasn’t even the withdrawal headaches but rather the lack of my routine of holding a tasty cup of coffee.  What happened next was weird…I ended up sleeping deeper than I had in the past.  I didn’t get those strange flutters in my chest constantly or the little bouts of anxiety that were causing me chest pain.  I actually felt better!  So what are the symptoms your body is screaming at you to pay attention to?  Fatigue? Anxiety? Constipation?  Looking at your diet and lifestyle, what is in there that could be attributing to these warning signs? There is so much life to be living, and it’s better to be doing it when you’re feeling your best!  You’re worth it, so don’t forget to read the signs!

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  • #health #signs from our body #pay attention to this #warning sign #changes in health
  • 4 months ago

I want to climb Everest!

After all climbing 29,029’ (8,848 m) above sea level is a totally reasonable goal for someone in their 30’s, out of shape, weak slightly in right leg but overall pretty good health, right?  Ahh yes I think I would make it to the base of the mountain and be winded and ready to curl up in bed.  Isn’t this like the goals we set for ourselves?  Totally reasonable (sarcasm dripping here folks) and no doubt we will be disappointed when we don’t reach the summit!

So how should we set goals?  Well the first point is to pick reasonable goals.  So maybe after much consideration I realize that I really don’t want to climb Everest but I want to be in shape and feel accomplished like I had climbed Mt. Everest! 

Second point is to set a goal when I’m hoping to accomplish this.  Often if our goals are vague and broad they never can really be reached because they aren’t specific.  So instead of saying “I want to be in shape” I should say “I want to be able to walk around Hinkley park without feeling like I’m dying by the end of this summer.”  The more specific your goal the more it will help guide the next step!

The third step is to break down the steps needed to attain your goal.  Since I know that I am not in the best shape now and I have a weakness in my right leg, I set up a plan to start working out three times a week at home and target strength exercises for my right leg.

The fourth step is to start.  Sometimes this last step is the hardest.  It’s often the biggest hurdle to mentally accept the challenges to get to our goal and then to start.  Find your motivation! If you don’t start the steps to this goal how will you feel?  If you do accomplish this goal how will this change your life?  Answer these questions and you are on your way!

We all have our Everest…and if we take these four steps we might accomplish that goal that we haven’t yet achieved!  What is your specific and reasonable goal?! 

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  • #goals #health #motivation #everest
  • 4 months ago

Grateful for rain, I hope I don’t slip!

“I cannot believe you give these bands to clutzy people!” My physical therapist was showing me how to do a new exercise to build up the muscles in my legs.  It requires some finesse and some cat-like agility to stand poised to accomplish this exercise.  The exercise while emphasizing one side was actually accomplished because you had to balance with the other leg.  I made sure to do it on my weak leg and then I stopped…wherein she chimed in that it’s just as important to work on my good leg because it’s going to force my weak leg to balance and get stronger.  It seems that this is the case when we look at our day…we can easily pick out the negatives and weaknesses and keep the focus there.  What if the best way to change the perspective for the day was to focus on the positives?  Just like maintaining some balance on my weak leg…it might be just as important if not more so to focus on the strong (positive) side…so it can carry me throughout my day.

I’ve never been particularly glass half-full kind of person so this was going to be a challenge!  I decided that for my exercise I was going to train my brain like I was training my leg…going for strength.  As an avid post-it lover I grabbed some post-its and kept them by the sink.  At the end of the day I would write down five things I was thankful/grateful for.  The first couple of days were challenging as I had to remind myself to write down things I was thankful for.  For example, I was thankful the sun was out for the day.  I was thankful I completed one load of laundry.  As you can see I wasn’t shooting for the heavens here.  It was weird though…after a few days I found myself actually looking forward to writing down things I was thankful for…or I had a hard time limiting myself to 5 things.  Not too mention seeing the post-it notes all over my mirror it was a great reminder that even on rough days there were things to be grateful for.  So even though you still might catch me on a bad day (I didn’t say this would make me into a saint!) I have been able to see more positives as I reflect on my day!

I’ve been told that this exercise doesn’t work.  How is being grateful for things going to change my life?  Well I too was skeptical but as any good scientist you got to try running the experiment before you go guessing at the results.  I’m not saying being grateful is going to turn Eeyore to Tiger but I do know that maybe it can give you support to see the sunshine instead of only the rain!  So let’s build up the positive and be grateful, so we can walk without that limp!

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  • 4 months ago

Where are those cracks?

I saw yet another crack in my house…I feared the worse.  One architect, two more construction workers…all staring at these cracks.  I just needed to know how bad is it going to be!!  Did we buy the wrong house? Will it be easy to repair?  On one hand I didn’t want to look at these cracks hoping that if I didn’t look…the problem would magically go away.  I decided that I needed to face them head on…so the little thing didn’t become worse.  As I finally ended up pointing them out to these knowledgeable people…we came up with a plan.  A plan to support the areas of the house so there’d be no more cracks…and then we put a plan into place to repair the cracks that were already there.  It’s not lost on me that we all have our cracks.  Is it glaringly obvious that procrastination is your fatal crack?  Or is it so much pride we can’t ask for help?


Sometimes looking at our failings or “cracks” we get lost in the first round of fear.  Fears that someone else will see what we see.  Or even the fear that this will cause someone to only see us by these flaws.  Fear is damaging…it is by far the most detrimental thing that has come to this generation.  After all the news is littered with that trail of fear or often we motivate ourselves or others with a touch of fear.  The untouched portion is moving past the fear.  What if we looked at our failings as part of our structure…and then came up with a plan maybe with some help (family, friends etc) to embrace them or repair them?  We’d be invincible!


Our lives are our own…we can find happiness not in our fears, or only seeing the things that are holding back in ourselves but in finding that support and moving past our fear!  So if you’re going to stare at those cracks in yourself…I dare you to take the next step past to find the happiness in the life you have and person that you are!

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  • 5 months ago

It’s all in your head

Thomas the Tank Engine had nothing on me!  “I can do it” was my mantra as I took yet another wobbly step.  My husband stood behind me rallying me reminding how even after just a couple weeks there is improvement.  I made it up the stairs!  I can’t believe I have had to retrain myself to walk up and down stairs! After having my baby I ended up with numbness down both of my legs…more in my right then my left.  It left me unable to hold my new baby as I would randomly collapse.  I knew there would be pain post baby but I didn’t know this was a possibility.  I wouldn’t have been able to get back to any semblance of normalcy if it wasn’t for my husband.  I wanted instantly to be back at my full potential…but unlike pain that I could just grit and bear…numbness I could not control.  My frustration though was kept in check by one thing…my husband’s ability to be so darn positive on my progress that I couldn’t remember seeing..  all I could focus on was what I wasn’t getting done. 

Sometimes what’s lost between attaining one of our goals and achieving our goals is actually the complexity of how we’re looking at it.  Have you ever looked back at something you have achieved and noticed that it was when your perspective changed than so did the result?  If you haven’t let me introduce you to something amazing!  Our brains are powerful…sometimes we don’t give enough credit to the power that they hold over our lives and in some cases our waist lines.  I’m not just talking about the conversation we have with ourselves to get ourselves to work out this morning.  I’m talking about seeing the start and the journey in a positive light instead of an uphill battle.  If you’ve stopped reading because you think I’m a hippy with rose colored glasses, I’m going to pull out the ‘ol “It’s science card.”

The fight or flight mechanism in our body is what used to help keep us alive when all we had to worry about was “will this bear kill me” or “if I don’t find food, I’ll die.”  Now we have what seems like greater hurdles like those jerks driving on the road in front of me, the next PTA meeting or the job with the boss who delights in micromanaging even my bathroom breaks!  Over time, repeated activation of the stress response takes a toll on the body. Research suggests that prolonged stress contributes to high blood pressure, promotes the formation of artery-clogging deposits, and causes brain changes that may contribute to anxiety, depression, and addiction. More preliminary research suggests that chronic stress may also contribute to obesity, both through direct mechanisms (causing people to eat more) or indirectly (decreasing sleep and exercise).”

So how are you handling your stress?  Are you trying to find some sort of balance with your stress and getting through your day?  What can you do today to relax?  By exploring what’s holding us back is going to make the difference on what helps to push us forward!  So take a deep breath and let’s figure out a way to dial back the stress so we can run forward up those stairs that are tripping us up!

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  • 5 months ago
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