The Whole Health Group Affordable Weight Loss with Empowerment Program epitomizes this mission, offering a transformative experience that marries efficacy with affordability.

“Our mission is clear: to empower individuals with the tools, support, and knowledge they need to embark on a journey towards sustainable, transformative weight loss.” — Whitney Prude

Whole & Happy Living, a trailblazer in the wellness industry, is thrilled to unveil a groundbreaking solution that is set to reshape the landscape of accessible, expert-guided weight loss. The launch of the Whole Health Affordable Weight Loss with Empowerment Program marks a pivotal moment in the world of weight loss and wellness, offering individuals a transformative experience that combines expert guidance, personalized support, and an empowering community, all while redefining affordability.

In an industry where effective solutions often come with a staggering price tag, Whole & Happy Living is committed to challenging the status quo. Founder Whitney Prude, PharmD, BCPS, NBC-HWC, emphasizes, “We firmly believe that true well-being should be accessible to everyone, not just a privileged few. Traditional high-quality weight loss programs can cost between $5000 and $15000, and sometimes even more, making them unattainable for a significant portion of the population. We are actively working to bridge this gap by providing services worth several thousands of dollars at a fraction of the cost.”

The Whole Health Group Empowerment Program: Affordable & Sustainable:

The Whole Health Group Empowerment Program is an embodiment of Whole & Happy Living’s commitment to accessible, inclusive wellness. It is a program designed to provide individuals with an extraordinary wellness and weight loss journey, while ensuring that the financial aspect doesn’t become a hindrance to transformation.

Personalized Guidance: The program retains the core of Whole & Happy Living’s holistic approach, offering meticulously tailored nutrition and exercise plans that cater to each individual’s unique goals and preferences.

In-Depth Education: In addition to immediate results, participants will benefit from 16 weeks of comprehensive education, equipping them with the knowledge and tools to navigate their wellness journey independently and sustainably.

The Power of Collective Support: The Whole & Happy Living team understands that wellness is not a solitary journey. The program introduces group coaching, a dynamic approach that leverages the collective energy and wisdom of participants. Weekly sessions, along with the support of dedicated coaches and a like-minded community, create a tight-knit support network that promotes accountability, camaraderie, and empowerment.

Affordable Transformation: The introduction of the Whole Health Group Empowerment Program comes with an unprecedented 50% off introductory offer and flexible funding options. This reflects Whole & Happy Living’s determination to ensure that true transformation is attainable for all, regardless of their financial circumstances.

Changing Lives, Redefining Wellness

In an effort to maintain an intimate, supportive environment, the program enforces a strict limit of 6 spots per group. Additionally, early participants will be grandfathered into upcoming program content, extending their investment’s value even further.

Whitney Prude, PharmD, BCPS, NBC-HWC, Founder and CEO emphasizes, “Our mission is clear: to empower individuals with the tools, support, and knowledge they need to embark on a journey towards sustainable, transformative weight loss. The Whole Health Group Empowerment Program epitomizes this mission, offering a transformative experience that marries efficacy with affordability.”

Whole & Happy Living’s unwavering dedication to accessible wellness comes to life with the introduction of the Affordable Weight Loss with Empowerment Program. Those seeking an opportunity to experience a transformative journey towards wellness, backed by expert guidance and powered by the strength of a united community, are invited to book their call.

Book Your Empowerment Call Here!

The journey to sustainable, transformative weight loss shouldn’t be a privilege for the few. It should be a path open to everyone, regardless of their financial circumstances. Traditional weight loss programs can cost a small fortune, leaving many without access to the support they need. Whole & Happy Living shatters this status quo by offering services worth thousands at a fraction of the cost.

This program isn’t just about shedding pounds; it’s about gaining life-changing knowledge, personalized guidance, and the support of a like-minded community. It’s about empowerment through education, accountability through camaraderie, and true transformation through affordability.

Additional Authority References: 

At Whole & Happy Living we are incredibly passionate about providing accurate, credible, and reputable information. We are honored to have our position on providing greater accessibility published on several credible sites across the country. We have referenced just a few below. Be sure to click the links and check out our original article! 

Associated Press Reference

        Check out this link to read our original article published in The Associated Press (AP).

Yahoo News Reference

You can find the Yahoo News article related to our topic by visiting this link.

Google News Reference

You can access the Google News article related to our topic through this link.

As you embark on your wellness journey with the Affordable Weight Loss with Empowerment Program, you’re not just investing in your health; you’re investing in a brighter, healthier future for all. Be part of this transformative movement and book your call today!





Hey there, amazing readers! I’m absolutely thrilled to share some fantastic news with all of you. Recently, I had the incredible opportunity to be featured on The Chris Voss Show Podcast, where we engaged in some thought-provoking conversations about health, wellness, and the art of transformation. I’m excited to take you on a journey through the highlights of our discussion and the profound insights that emerged.

Listen to the Podcast Episode: Tune in to the Conversation here.

Embarking on a Wellness Journey

As I settled into the podcast chat, I couldn’t help but reflect on the significant twists and turns that have shaped my journey so far. It all started with a challenging period of my life when I encountered a wrist injury and the subsequent curveball of an autoimmune disease. Bedridden and determined to find purpose amidst the pain, I was fueled by an inner drive to turn my experiences into something meaningful. This determination led me down the  path of health coaching, where I found my passion in helping others navigate the hurdles of their weight loss and wellness journeys. My approach in the weight loss industry stands out due to its focus on long-term results. I’ve learned that true transformation involves much more than just diet and exercise – it’s about diving deep into the mental and emotional layers that shape our choices. By addressing these internal factors, my program aims to create profound, lasting changes in both physical health and overall well-being.


Explore the Five-Step Power Plan for achieving holistic wellness

At the heart of my program lies the “Five-Step Power Plan to Whole Health Transformation.” Spanning over 16 weeks, this plan encompasses a holistic approach that guides participants through a journey of self-discovery, breaking down mental barriers, and achieving sustainable health improvements. Let’s delve deeper into the Five-Step Power Plan for holistic wellness that have proven to be a game-changer:

1. Power of Mind: Understand how your mind operates and transform automatic triggers and reactions.
2. Power of Awareness: Recognize the motives behind your actions, conquer absent-mindedness, and make intentional choices.
3. Power of Self: Confront self-abandonment, align actions with personal values, and embark on a path of growth.
4. Power of Knowledge: Equip yourself with deep nutrition and mindful eating education for empowered decision-making.
5. Power of Growth: Uncover your strengths, values, and motivation, paving the way for lasting progress.

Going Beyond Quick Fixes: A Mindset Shift

During our podcast conversation, we explored the landscape of weight loss drugs, such as Ozempic, that promise quick results. Drawing on my background as a pharmacist and health coach, I emphasized the value of enduring results through shifts in mindset and lifestyle. While these drugs might offer temporary weight loss, they often overlook the emotional and mental aspects of our eating habits. Changing our relationship with food, conquering triggers, and fostering healthy habits emerged as critical aspects of the journey.

Navigating Challenges and Embracing Change

Throughout our talk, I shared insights on common challenges like mindless eating due to boredom or emotional triggers. I drew parallels between these behaviors and my own journey of overcoming self-abandonment, eventually aligning my actions with my core values. We delved into the pivotal role of reshaping mindset, beliefs, and behaviors, highlighting the importance of sustainable transformations over fleeting fixes.

My Key Takeaways for Lasting Wellness

One of the standout messages of our conversation revolved around the immense impact of mindset in approaching weight loss and health. In a world teeming with misconceptions and quick fixes, we underscored the power of gradual, sustainable changes, fostering healthy eating habits, and crafting a lifestyle that nourishes long-term weight loss and well-being. Moreover, we touched upon the significance of personalized approaches in health and weight loss journeys. Each of us possesses a unique body with diverse factors influencing how we respond to different strategies. Addressing emotional eating, managing stress, and understanding our psychological triggers play a crucial role in breaking free from unhealthy cycles.

Embracing Lasting Transformation Through Holistic Wellness.

Above all, our conversation underscored the significance of embracing a holistic approach. I’m a firm believer that true transformation transcends mere physical outcomes. It encompasses nourishing our minds and souls, cultivating positive habits, and creating a life that truly resonates with our well-being.

Connect with Me!

If you’re eager to learn more about my approach or have any burning questions, feel free to connect with me on Instagram and Facebook. I’m here to support you on your journey toward weight loss, well-being and fulfillment.

Here’s to Your Wellness Journey

As you immerse yourself in the insights shared during this enlightening podcast, get ready to embrace a journey of empowerment, growth, and transformation. Remember, the road to wellness isn’t a sprint – it’s a marathon of self-love, mindful choices, and meaningful progress. Start your journey to holistic wellness today for a brighter tomorrow.


Health is Wealth!

You are not alone!

I am incredibly passionate about mental health. I have had my own mental health journey. I have been to therapy multiple times. I have read more self-help books than I can count. And I am so grateful to be able to now feel mentally and emotionally well. It is an incredible privilege as a health and wellness coach to be able to be a part of others health and wellness journeys in more ways than just physical health. Your mental and emotional health impact every aspect of your health and wellness. 

If you are struggling with your own mental health journey, please take the time to watch this video and hear others share about their mental health journeys. There is an incredible amount of power when we can connect to one another’s stories and realize that we are not alone in our suffering. 

It takes bravery to be willing to admit that we are not okay and that we need help. It takes bravery to be kind to ourselves and invest in getting help when we need it. It takes bravery to keep fighting when it feels like the world is fighting against us. 

Keep your chin up. Remember you are not alone. Things will get better.

Keep being brave!

I believe there is an incredibly large gap in the way we approach health and wellness with a significant emphasis placed on our physical health.  When something starts to go wrong physically (i.e.  weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, pre-diabetes, depression/anxiety, etc.), we turn to physical methods to try and solve the problem. This could include changing our diet and exercise plan, starting a new medication, and the list goes on.  What I hope to demonstrate in this article is that our physical health is often an outer expression of an inner conflict.  Bear with me as we dive into some astounding research summarized by Jane Ellen Stevens at ACEs Too High News.

In 1985, a man named Dr. Vincent Felitti, chief of Kaiser Permanente’s revolutionary Department of Preventive Medicine in San Diego, CA, ran an obesity clinic.  Anyone who wanted to shed as little as 30 pounds could participate, but the clinic was designed for people who were 100 to 600 pounds overweight. Every year, more than 50,000 people were screened for disease. It was the largest medical evaluation site in the world.

Although Dr. Felitti’s department was incredibly successful, he couldn’t figure out why, each year for the last five years, more than half of the people in his obesity clinic dropped out.  After reviewing the people who had dropped out he discovered that all of these people were losing weight when they left the program.  Why would someone who weighed 300 pounds, and had lost 100 of those pounds in his program, drop out? The mystery turned into a 25-year quest involving researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and more than 17,000 members of Kaiser Permanente’s San Diego care program.

Dr. Felitti began interviewing hundreds of his clients who dropped out of this program.  At first he made no progress in discovering the root of the problem until he began asking the following questions: How much did you weigh when you were born? How much did you weigh when you started first grade? How much did you weigh when you entered high school? How much did you weigh when you became sexually active?  He was astonished when his first patient, a woman, replied, “Forty pounds.” And then elaborated further, “It was when I was four years old, with my father.”

A shocking 286 patients later almost all had replied in a similar manner. As startling as this was, it turned out to be less significant than another piece of the puzzle that dropped into place during an interview with a woman who had been raped when she was 23 years old. In the year after the attack, she told Felitti that she’d gained 105 pounds. “Overweight is overlooked, and that’s the way I need to be.” He realized that being overweight for these people was not a problem it was actually a solution. In the case of the woman who’d been raped, she felt as if she were invisible to men. In the case of a man who’d been beaten up when he was a skinny kid, being fat kept him safe, because when he gained a lot of weight, nobody bothered him. In the case of another woman — whose father told her while he was raping her when she was 7 years old that the only reason he wasn’t doing the same to her 9-year-old sister was because she was fat — being obese protected her. Losing weight increased these patient’s anxiety, depression, and fear to levels that were intolerable.

Over time, these results would reach far beyond an obesity clinic.  They began to help explain why hundreds of millions of people around the world use biochemical coping methods – such as alcohol, marijuana, food, sex, tobacco, violence, work, methamphetamines, thrill sports – to escape intense fear, anxiety, depression, and anger.  All of this led to one of the largest and perhaps most important public health studies of all time.

Between 1995 and 1997 a survey was filled out by 17,421 individuals coming through Kaiser Permanente’s Department of Preventive Medicine.  The survey consisted of the top 10 most common adverse childhood experiences that had been reported by Dr. Felitti’s patients.

The results of this study were mind-boggling!
  1. There was a direct link between childhood trauma and adult onset of chronic disease, as well as mental illness, doing time in prison, and work issues, such as absenteeism.
  2. Two-thirds of the adults in the study had experienced one or more types of adverse childhood experiences. Of those, 87 percent had experienced 2 or more types. This showed that people who had an alcoholic father, for example, were likely to have also experienced physical abuse or verbal abuse. In other words, adverse childhood experiences(ACEs) usually didn’t happen in isolation.
  3. More adverse childhood experiences resulted in a higher risk of medical, mental, and social problems as an adult.

A scoring system was developed that gave each ACE one point. For example, if a person experienced verbal abuse, lived with a mentally ill mother and an alcoholic father, their ACE score was three. Compared with people with zero ACEs, those with four categories of ACEs the results were as follows:

  • 240% greater risk of hepatitis
  • 390% greater risk of COPD
  • 240% higher risk of a sexually transmitted disease
  • Twice as likely to smoke
  • 12 times more likely to have attempted suicide
  • 7 times more likely to be an alcoholic
  • 10 times more likely to have injected street drugs
  • More likely to be violent, have more marriages, more broken bones, more drug prescriptions, more depression, more auto-immune diseases, and more work absences.

To further validate the shocking results of this study, the participants were average Americans. Seventy-five percent were white, 11 percent Latino, 7.5 percent Asian and Pacific Islander, and 5 percent were black. They were middle-class, middle-aged, 36 percent had attended college and 40 percent had college degrees or higher. Since they were members of Kaiser Permanente, they all had jobs and great health care. Their average age was 57.

I think the results of this study speak for themselves, but if you are one of those people asking the question of why this really matters, let me elaborate further.

According to the Adverse Childhood Experiences — ACE — study, the rougher your childhood, the higher your score is likely to be and the higher your risk for various health problems later.

The ACE Study became even more significant with the publication of parallel research that provided the link between why something that happened to you when you were a kid could land you in the hospital at age 50. The stress of severe and chronic childhood trauma – such as being regularly hit, constantly belittled and berated, watching your father often hit your mother – put a child in constant fight or flight mode which releases hormones that physically damage a child’s developing brain.  This fight or flight mode is beneficial when we’re being chased by a bear, but the real problem comes when that bear comes home from the bar every night.  Constantly staying in a fight or flight mode is incredibly damaging to every aspect of our health leading to the adoption of health risk behaviors, disease, disability and early death. 

The results in this study show extreme examples of what many people go through during their childhood, but that isn’t to say that other events in your life can’t have very similar effects and outcomes.  Maybe you experienced trauma or loss or betrayal or abuse or disappointment at an older age. It may not physically impact your young developing brain, but the result is similar.  We store these memories, try to bury them out of shame, fear, or anger and try to move on with our lives.  Over time we develop ways to avoid feeling the pain.  Maybe we work excessively as an avoidance tactic or form some other type of unhealthy or extreme habit to attempt to get on with life.  Maybe it manifests in our relationships with our loved ones and causes a significant amount of stress on a regular basis. There are so many life events that can result in prolonged stress if we aren’t aware of or know how to deal with them in a healthy way.

Take a second to read through the ACEs questionnaire and determine how many you may have experienced. Each time you select “yes” that counts as one ACE. This is also a good time to evaluate other experiences in your life and explore the amount of impact those experiences may still have on your everyday life and on your current and future health. It’s never too late to get help to work through past difficulties and create healthy habits so you can avoid the many pitfalls of chronic stress that lead to chronic illness, disability, and early death.

If you feel like this topic may relate to you, NOW is the time to do something about it so you don’t have to look back in the future and wonder how different your life could have been if you had taken the right steps toward better health before it was too late. 

Please book a free coaching session on my contact page today to discuss available options for you to get started. 

“It’s never too late to get help to work through past difficulties and create healthy habits so you can avoid the many pitfalls of chronic stress that lead to chronic illness.”

There is one guarantee in life and that is that nothing is as constant as change. Everyday things around us change. Sometimes those things are minuscule and have little impact on the outcome of the rest of our lives. But sometimes changes come in large doses that are incredibly difficult to accept and seem almost impossible to manage. These are the moments when our power to choose becomes incredibly important.


I remember when I was a teenager struggling through the emotions and heart break of my parents divorce. My world had been torn apart. I was hurt and angry and didn’t quite know how I was going to handle it all. I was at the perfect time in my life to get into trouble and make poor decisions and blame it on my situation.


I have a very vivid memory of a decision I made that changed the course of my entire life. I was seventeen and I had just been in a fight with a family member. I left the house in a rage, backed my car out of my driveway and for some reason had an epiphany right there in the middle of the road. There were two paths that became very clear in my mind. I could channel my anger into revenge and blame my situation for the poor decisions I wanted to make or I could choose to stay true to the young woman that I was and had always worked hard to become. I made a decision right then and there.

I am in control of my life and the person I become and I will not allow my circumstances or the choices of anyone else to take that away from me. I am the master of my fate.

I hope this video will serve as a reminder that no matter the circumstances you are placed in NO ONE can take away your ability to choose how you will come out on the other side of the struggle.

there is hope!

This past year has been quite the rollercoaster to say the least. This pandemic has had such a significant impact on so many aspects of our lives. Jobs lost, businesses closed, financial hardship, isolation, extreme uncertainty, fear of losing loved ones, and the list goes on. For many months we have been asking the question, “IS THIS EVER GOING TO END?!” It is hard to say for sure what the future holds, but we certainly have hope with the new vaccines that have been developed and are demonstrating efficacy. 

I feel incredibly blessed to have been working at the Mayo Clinic through this pandemic as they have done an excellent job of distributing up-to-date and credible information. They recently posted an article that is SO important with the first COVID vaccine being approved by the FDA. I have copied and pasted the information below without making any changes to their article and also including links they provided for more information. There are a lot of myths and conspiracies floating around so PLEASE take the time to educate yourself and your loved ones about COVID vaccines through credible sources. 


COVID-19 vaccine myths debunked

Written by Mayo Clinic December 9, 2020

Vaccines are perhaps the best hope for ending the COVID-19 pandemic. Two pharmaceutical companies have applied for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorization for new COVID-19 vaccines, and a limited number of vaccines will be available before the end of the year.

It’s likely you’ve heard claims about these COVID-19 vaccines on social media or from the people in your life. Also, the rapid development and approval of these vaccines may make you hesitant about safety or effectiveness.

Let’s set the record straight on some of the myths circulating about COVID-19 vaccines.

Myth: COVID-19 vaccines are not safe because they were developed and tested quickly.

Fact: Many pharmaceutical companies have invested significant resources into developing COVID-19 vaccines quickly because of the worldwide effects of the pandemic. This emergency situation warranted an emergency response. That does not mean the companies bypassed safety protocols or performed inadequate testing.

Mayo Clinic will recommend the use of those vaccines that it is confident are safe. While there are many COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development, early data are encouraging for the Pfizer vaccine, which likely is to be the first authorized for emergency use by the FDA. This vaccine was created using new technology based on the molecular structure of the virus that allows it to be free from materials of animal origin and synthesized by an efficient, cell-free process without preservatives. This vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTecH has been studied in approximately 43,000 people.

To receive emergency use authorization, biopharmaceutical manufacturers must have followed at least half of the participants in their vaccine trials for at least two months after completing the vaccination series, and the vaccine must be proven safe and effective in that population.

In addition to the safety review by the FDA, the Advisory Committee on Immunization has convened a panel of vaccine safety experts to independently evaluate the safety data from the clinical trial. Mayo Clinic vaccine experts also will review the available data. The safety of COVID-19 vaccine will continue to be closely monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA.

Myth: I already had COVID-19 and I have recovered, so I don’t need to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

Fact: There is not enough information currently available to say if or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again. This is called natural immunity. Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last long, but more studies are needed to better understand this.

Mayo Clinic recommends getting the COVID-19 vaccine even if you’ve had COVID-19 previously. However, those who have had COVID-19 should delay vaccination until about 90 days from diagnosis. People should not get vaccinated if in quarantine after exposure or if they have COVID-19 symptoms.

Myth: COVID-19 vaccines have severe side effects.

Fact: COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to have short-term mild or moderate vaccine reactions that resolve without complication or injury.

Early-phase studies of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine show that it is safe. About 15% of people developed short-lived symptoms at the site of the injection. Half developed systemic reactions, primarily headache, chills, fatigue, muscle pain or fever lasting for a day or two.

Keep in mind that these side effects indicate that your immune system is responding to the vaccine. These side effects are common with vaccinations.

Myth: I won’t need to wear a mask after I get vaccinated for COVID-19.

Fact: It may take time for everyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccination to get one. Also, while the vaccine may prevent you from getting sick, it is unknown whether you can still carry and transmit the virus to others after vaccination.

Until more is understood about how well the vaccine works, continuing with precautions, such as wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing and washing hands frequently, will be important.

Myth: More people will die as a result of a negative side effect to the COVID-19 vaccine than would die from the virus.

Fact: A claim circulating on social media is that the COVID-19 mortality rate is 1%–2% and that people should not be vaccinated against a virus with a high survival rate. However, a 1% mortality rate is 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu. In addition, the mortality rate can vary widely based on age, sex and underlying health conditions.

In contrast, clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines have shown only short-term mild or moderate vaccine reactions that resolve without complication or injury.

While some people who receive the vaccine may develop symptoms as their immune system responds, this is common when receiving any vaccine, and these symptoms are not considered serious or life-threatening. And you cannot become infected with COVID-19 from COVID-19 vaccines. These are inactivated vaccines, not live-virus vaccines.

It’s important to recognize that getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is not just about survival from COVID-19. It’s about preventing spread of the virus to others and preventing infection that can lead to long-term negative health effects.

While no vaccine is 100% effective, getting vaccinated is far better than not getting vaccinated. The benefits outweigh the risks in healthy people.

Myth: COVID-19 vaccines were developed to control the population through microchip tracking or “nanotransducers” in the human brain.

Fact: There is no vaccine microchip, and the vaccine will not track people or gather personal information into a database.

This myth started after comments made by Bill Gates from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation about a digital certificate of vaccine records. The technology he was referencing is not a microchip, has not been implemented in any manner and is not tied to the development, testing or distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

Learn More
Myth: COVID-19 vaccines will alter my DNA.

Fact: The first COVID-19 vaccines to reach the market are likely to be messenger RNA, or mRNA, vaccines. Messenger RNA vaccines work by instructing cells in the body how to make a protein that triggers an immune response, according to the CDC. Injecting messenger RNA into your body will not interact or do anything to the DNA of your cells. Human cells break down and get rid of the messenger RNA soon after they have finished using the instructions.

Learn More
Myth: COVID-19 vaccines were developed using fetal tissue.

Fact: These messenger RNA COVID-19 vaccines were not created with and do not require the use of fetal cell cultures in the production process.

Learn More

“While no vaccine is 100% effective, getting vaccinated is far better than not getting vaccinated. The benefits outweigh the risks in healthy people.”


This is my story…



Over the last several months I have been contemplating how to talk about my experience with chronic illness in a way that was realistic, but also encouraging. I was rather stumped because I didn’t want it to sound depressing or like I was seeking pity or attention. I can’t even really say it’s an attempt to raise awareness either. I simply want to share my story with all it’s difficulty and encourage you to embrace and share yours. The reality is that we really aren’t all that different whether you struggle with a chronic illness or not. Life is full of challenges and on any given day there are a handful of people you and I know and love that are struggling with really challenging life beasts. It is my sincere hope that through sharing our honest, authentic and raw moments with one another we’ll feel a little more connected and a little less stuck in our struggles all alone.




It has been an interesting couple of months for me as I have prepared to give a very personal speech to my Toastmasters speaking group. It has been emotional and has taken more bravery than I realized it would to put this out into to world.

I had a past coaching client who was quite sick with some very debilitating chronic illnesses. As we created a wellness vision for her I encouraged her to think of an image she could print out that would be empowering to her when she looked at it each day. She introduced me to a very unique and ancient Japanese technique called Kintsugi, the repairing of broken pottery. As she described to me the meaning behind a Kintsugi for her, it was as though she could see herself in a new light, even with chronic illness. She could see all of the scars. She could see all of the ways that her life was different than it used to be. She could see the grandmother she wanted to be, but was stuck being the grandmother her illness forced her to be. And yet, she was still able to find the beauty in who she was. I have to give her credit for inspiring me with the idea of the kintsugi.

The most rewarding part of coaching is being able to hear your amazing stories and ideas and how you conquer the challenges in your individual lives. It is inspiring! In an attempt to honor those whom I have coached who have been able to embrace their scars and their imperfections and to be proud of who they are in their own skin, I would like to share an incredibly personal and precious part of my life journey with you.

It is written here in the format of a speech, but if you would prefer to see the actual video of me giving the speech, please visit my YouTube channel.

A few months ago I was catching up with an old friend that I hadn’t talked to in several years. As we caught each other up on what had happened in our lives, we stumbled upon the topic of chronic illness. Shockingly, we had both been newly diagnosed with an auto-immune disease. As we talked more about what our individual lives looked like with a chronic illness, my friend mentioned that he is so busy he just can’t seem to find the time to sleep more than 4-5 hours a night. There were too many important things he was doing that he just couldn’t afford to spend more time sleeping. The thought that immediately popped into the back of my mind, especially for someone who already has an auto-immune disease, was that he really couldn’t afford to NOT get a good nights sleep. Unfortunately, when we get busy in our lives and we don’t have enough time to fit everything in, the aspect of our health that seems easiest to sacrifice in order to create more time is sleep. Initially this might seem like a great plan to create more time in your day, but what you might not be aware of are the long term effects of too little sleep. 


According to the CDC insufficient sleep has been linked to the development and management of a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Lets dive a little deeper into what sleep’s effect is on each of these conditions.



Research has found that insufficient sleep is linked to an increased risk for the development of type 2 diabetes. Specifically, sleep duration and quality have emerged as predictors of blood sugar control. Recent research  has also suggested that getting more sleep can help improve blood sugar control for those who already have type 2 diabetes. 


Cardiovascular disease

People who have sleep apnea have been found to be at increased risk for a number of cardiovascular diseases. Notably, hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease and cardiac arrhythmias have been found to be more common among those with disordered sleep. 



Laboratory research has found that short sleep duration results in metabolic changes that may be linked to obesity. Studies have also revealed an association between short sleep duration and excess body weight. This association has been reported in all age groups—but has been particularly pronounced in children.



The relationship between sleep and depression is complex. While sleep disturbance is a symptom of depression, recent research has indicated that depressive symptoms may decrease once sleep apnea has been effectively treated and sufficient sleep restored. 


If sleep is SO crucial to our health and helping to prevent the development of chronic illness, why do we so willingly sacrifice our sleep and what can we do to improve it? There are a lot of resources out there providing guidance for good sleep habits. This guidance is typically referred to as sleep hygiene. Below is an overall summary of several tips from several resources including Mayo Clinic, CDC, and Anxiety Canada to help improve your sleep. 


sleep HYGIENE 

Establish a sleep routine. Begin getting ready for bed at the same time each night and set a consistent routine that you follow. This will help trigger your body to know it’s time for bed. Allow for 7-8 hours of sleep and get up at the same time each morning no matter how well you slept. Avoid taking a nap during the day. This will help your body establish a regular rhythm. 


Create a comfortable sleep environment. Make sure that you have a supportive mattress and fresh, comfortable bedding. Ensure that your room is not too hot or cold, minimize noise, and block out light. Avoid using technology(TV, phone, etc.) at least 30 minutes before bedtime. 

  • Interesting side note: A study was recently conducted and published in JAMA Internal Medicine, a reputable medical journal, that looked at the association of artificial light exposure at night while sleeping and weight gain in 43,722 women. They did find evidence that sleeping with exposure to artificial light may be a risk factor for weight gain and obesity. Some thoughts behind this is that it may impact the amount of melatonin your body produces and cause poor quality sleep leading to weight gain. More research is needed to further support the results, but in the meantime, turn off your TV, phone, or any other sources of artificial light while you sleep!


Only use your bed for sleeping (sex is the only exception). Try to avoid reading, watching TV, working, or studying in bed. This can keep your mind active and get in the way of sleep.


Try to relax before going to bed. If your mind is stressed and busy, try using meditation techniques or listening to calming music. Keep a notepad by your bed so you can write down your thoughts at any point during the night and address them in the morning. 


If you’re hungry at bedtime, have a small healthy snack. Although a heavy meal late in the evening can disrupt sleep, a healthy light snack in the evening can improve sleep. Try eating light cheese and crackers, turkey, or bananas, or drink a warm glass of milk. Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods.


Exercising during the day can help improve your sleep. So, get moving! Go for a walk or a run. Exercising later in the day can help you sleep better but don’t exercise within 2-4 hours of when you’re planning to go to bed. 


Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and smoking at least 4 hours before bedtime. They can all interfere with a good night sleep. If you have trouble sleeping in general, try avoiding caffeine completely. 


Get some natural light. Try to spend some time outdoors or in natural light every day. Getting some sunlight early in the day can be helpful for setting your body’s natural wake and sleep cycle.


Sleep only when you are sleepy. Don’t force yourself into bed at a particularly time if you’re not feeling sleepy. You’ll only lie awake in bed, frustrated that you can’t sleep.

  • Sometimes you might need to try some over-the-counter sleep aids to help you change your sleeping habits or get on a better sleeping schedule. 
  • Melatonin is usually a good option for helping you to feel sleepy and fall asleep. It generally doesn’t keep you asleep though. Try up to 5mg of melatonin to see if this can help you fall asleep. (Remember to get a USP certified product)
  • Another over-the-counter sleep aid you can try is Benadryl (diphenhydramine). Start with 25mg and increase to 50mg if that doesn’t do the trick. Benadryl will help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Keep in mind though that this is not a long term solution. Your body will typically adjust to it’s effects after about 2 weeks so try to use this to help you develop a sleep schedule and incorporate these other sleep hygiene strategies in the meantime.


If you can’t fall asleep after 20 to 30 minutes, get out of bed and do something boring (e.g. read the manual on how to program your clock radio, read the sports section of the newspaper (if you’re not a sports fan) or try relaxing (e.g. meditate, listen to calm music, have a warm de-caffeinated drink). When you start to feel sleepy, try going back to bed. This strategy can feel like you are making things worse, but if you stick with it, it can really help.


TIP: Try not to worry about the fact that you’re laying there not sleeping. Let go of your belief that you have to get 8 hours of sleep or you can’t function. Stop looking at the clock and stop trying to make yourself fall sleep. It will happen when it happens.


keys to success
  1. Start Small. Don’t try to do everything all at once. Pick 1 or 2 strategies and try them consistently before you add something else. The goal is to slowly start increasing behaviors that can help you sleep, while reducing the things that are interfering with your sleep.
  2. Be consistent. Once you pick a strategy, be consistent with it and do the same thing every night.
  3. Be patient. These strategies can take time to improve your sleep. It might even feel like your sleep gets a little worse before it gets better. Hang in there and stick with it.
  4. Chart your progress. Keep track of the strategies you are using and how they are effecting you so over time you can see what’s working for you and what’s not. 


Sleep is incredibly important to maintaining good health as well as managing weight and preventing chronic illness. When there isn’t enough time in the day, don’t sacrifice sleep to get more done! You might not see the immediate effects of losing sleep, but they will catch up to you over time.  



All my life I have been very active and adventurous with sports, dancing, traveling and the list goes on. A few years ago over a period of about two months I became so sick with an auto-immune disease that my quality of life was turned upside down. I had to give up literally everything I loved doing. Over the last couple years of dealing with a chronic illness, I have come to accept that my life will never be the same. Chronic illness comes in many shapes and sizes, but the bottom line is, you don’t want one if you can avoid it.

You might be as shocked as I was to learn about the prevalence of chronic illness in the U.S. According to the CDC, 6 in 10 adults in the U.S. have a chronic disease and 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. have two or more chronic diseases!

The CDC also provides a list of the key lifestyle risks for developing a chronic disease:

  • Tobacco Use
  • Poor nutrition
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Excessive alcohol use

These lifestyle risks and many more are all too prevalent in our society today. The odds of remaining illness free are certainly against us. I don’t think you would be shocked if I pointed out that these key lifestyle risks are often how we tend to respond to excessive stress in our lives. Not all stress is bad. It is beneficial for our body to be able to go into “fight or flight” mode to help us function through stressful situations. The problem comes when we keep our bodies consistently in this mode. When we stay in a state of chronic stress, our body consistently releases the stress hormone 

cortisol and not only makes us crave unhealthy habits to compensate and keep us going, but it also can lead to many health problems, some of which are illustrated in this image on the right from Healthline. It’s easy to get stuck in some of these habits and only become aware of the consequences once it’s too late.

Wellness coaching is a rapidly growing profession to help people create healthy lifestyles and avoid unseen pitfalls leading to many of these health risks in the future. 

So what exactly is coaching and how can it benefit you?

Coaching is different than therapy or going to the doctor in that these types of professions take the roll of an expert. They are trained to figure out what is wrong and provide some sort solution to the problem. In coaching, however, the coach takes the opposite role valuing you as the client to be the expert of your own life.

The beauty and power of coaching comes from within you. By using a variety of skills and techniques, coaching enables you to recognize your own strengths and values. A coach helps you discover what is truly important to you and what motivates you. They help you to envision your ideal best self and figure out what works for you to slowly bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to be.

Take Jill for example. Jill comes in to meet with a coach. The coach asks Jill what she wants to work on and she explains that she has a sugar tooth and really wants to cut down on the amount of sugar she is eating.

Instead of telling Jill what she needs to do, a coach would ask many questions to get to know her and what her everyday life looks like. They would draw out her strengths and her values and hand them back to her to use as tools to help her develop strategies that will set her up for success.

In Jill’s actual story as I met with her we started discussing sugar intake but we then discovered that the reason she is craving sugar is because she is so stressed. After discussing the aspects of her life that were most stressful and evaluating which of these areas was most important to her, she had this “ah ha” moment that what she really needed and wanted to do was to work on her relationship with her husband. Often times the thing you think you want to change is just the tip of the ice berg. Only you can discover those things in your own life and a coach has the unique skill set to help you find them.

Over the course of the last few years of my life as I have learned to live with an incredible amount of physical limitation, I would often think of the quote from Thornton Wilder’s Play, Our Town. “Do human beings ever realize life while they live it…every, every minute?” Sometimes we don’t realize what we have until it slips through our fingers. Collaborating with a coach will help you get your life to a point where you can really live and enjoy those precious moments life presents to you.

You don’t have to have health problems or want to lose weight in order to meet with a wellness coach. Wellness encompasses nearly every aspect of your well being. If you ever find yourself wanting things in your life to be different but can’t seem to find a way to get there, coaching may be your ticket to success. If you already have a chronic illness the coaching approach is slightly different in that we try to simplify things in your life that are a burden so you can use the limited energy you have on the things that are most important to you.

As a medical professional and a certified wellness coach, I would strongly urge you to put in the effort to invest in your health and wellness today so you don’t have to look back on your life and wonder what if?  “What if I had invested in my health then…? What would my life look like now?”

It’s never to late to create and live a whole and happy life regardless of your circumstances. I offer free consultation phone calls to help you determine if coaching is a good fit for you. If you’re interested in giving coaching a try or want to learn more, please reach out to me!

“Often times the thing you think you want to change is just the tip of the ice berg. Only you can discover those things in your own life and a coach has the unique skill set to help you find them.”