The Freedom from Depression: No more suffering?


How can we evolve
4th Biggest cause of death in the U.S.


In the last two days I have done everything but my intention. My intention is to write this blog on Depression and the thoughts from ideas and research on the topic. I will now finish my story about my son Jackson and daughter Peyton.

Kids and Genius Ideas
How would you react?

Jackson was 8 years old and my daughter Peyton was 4 years old. This particular occurrence happened over 6 years ago. On a lovely Sunday morning, the entire family decided we were going to go to our local grocery store and grab a few items for the beach. If you have children, especially when they are small you bring six car loads of toys, supplies, life jackets, towels, sunscreen, umbrella, chairs, and snacks. The snacks are a very important item in our small town community. Sunday afternoons, in the summer, we would meet other families at the same beach access, and 20 plus kids would share with each other.

The trip to the grocery store was to be swift and with purpose. We parked the car and the kids skipped ahead of us. Richard and I were talking and not paying full attention to the kids. The adults in this story grabbed a grocery cart, unaware of our kids already in the store with one of those Super-carts(the ones which resemble a Race car) and already had a salient plan of action. Richard and I steered our grocery cart to the left, where the produce section was located. If my memory serves correctly, Richard was asking me should we get more bananas when a noise of a loud smash a glass and liquid splashing everywhere, could have been heard 75 miles away, at the Virginia state line.

I would call this a mothers instinct or a mother knows the impossible is possible. We were in the grocery store for maybe 45 seconds when this incident happened. My adrenaline kicked in and I looked over to the wine section. To my complete distress, my son who was 8 years old(the older and more logical thinker) was sitting inside the cart, and my daughter was 4 years old( the mastermind of this plan) had her hands on the handle bars of the cart. I look over the crime scene, and the perfect pyramid of wine crates were scattered and broken all over the nice white tile. It was all red wine and it was spread from the wine section, the bread section, down the produce area, and now flowing toward the check out lanes.

Red wine everywhere
A Cart and two kids

I run frantically over to this crime scene, and by this time my two kids are out of the cart, standing perfectly still with their heads down. I am observing the scene and I was adding in my head what must have been at least a $1000 worth of damaged wine bottles. I am in pure dismay and here comes about 10 employees running over to assess the damage. I felt like Keanu Reeves, in the movie, The Matrix. I am referring to the scene Keanu tries to talk, but he has no mouth. I finally was able to say, “I am so sorry and I would be glad to help clean this up and pay for the damage.” The store manager, which looked like he had tears in his eyes, “Ma’am its okay we can take care of this,” I turned around to say my husband and I were so extremely sorry, and when I turned to bring him into the conversation I realized he wasn’t standing beside me. I would find out later, as soon as he heard the noise he knew what happened too and ran to the car.

The kids and I with pure humiliation paid for the 3 items that were in my cart and walked at a very fast pace to the car. My husband was already parked in front of the store for our quick getaway. The silence was so severe in the car ride. We live five minutes from the grocery store which felt like an hour-long drive. The kids in the backseat held their heads down. When we pulled into the driveway and parked the kids jumped out, ran into the house and each went to their rooms and shut the door. We didn’t go to the beach this particular Sunday.

Sooth Self
Calm the nerves

What does the above story have to do with Freedom from Depression? I explained earlier this was 6 years ago. When this incident happened Richard and i were engaged but not married. We were both divorced from previous spouses. I had these two precious children from my previous marriage and Richard came into their life when they were 6 and 2 1/2 years old. Again what does this have to do with Depression?

Remember I am not a doctor, scientist, or in the medical field. I am going back to school to be a Health and Life Coach.

Freedom from Depression and why I think its possible. We only have one brain, but there is the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere. Each hemisphere specializes in certain behaviors. The left brain takes on more logical abilities, such as calculations and math. The left side is said to be more dominant for most people. The right brain is more specialized in visual, imagery, and music.

Here is where Depression gets interesting and why my story will delineate causes of depressive behavior. In the brain we have the Hypothalamus which drives emotion and survival. This is the smallest part of the brain but it has the biggest most important roles. I think of a Hippopotamus but they are very large.

The Hypothalamus controls the Fight or Flight biological reaction. When this is triggered, heart rate increases, breathing becomes shallow, adrenal glands secrete epinephrine(adrenaline) and norepinephrine. Basically a stressful situation disturbs equilibrium and the person experiences negative feelings and struggles to cope with these factors.

What is happening?
Our small Hippopotamus

Recently I listened to a podcast, , by Jake Nawrocki and he  interviewed the author of, Freedom from Depression, 6 keys to eliminating emotional pain, Dr, Anthony Piparo. I was just blown away with the trauma he endured but was able to channel his energy into helping others who suffer from depression. He has many credentials in this field and I highly recommend reading the book and visiting

In Dr. Piparo’s many studies in 2014, there was at least 42,000 suicide deaths . Suicide is the 4th largest killer in the United States. My question is why are we not addressing this? I believe we still have a huge stigma around mental health. When we talk about Depression, this includes anxiety, self-worth, and isolation.

Do you know someone who has committed suicide? Yes, this is blunt or we can be delusional and pretend like it doesn’t happen? Chances are, we all know someone who has taken their own life. Men are 3 1/2 more likely than females but females attempts are more often than males. In America 11% over 15 suffer from depression. Did you know 25% of females between 40-55 are affected by depression, which is more than heart disease and cancer?

The underlying factors are biology, stress, anxiety, grief, life changes, alcoholism, drug abuse, and effects of medication and nutrition deficiencies.

The two things which are common with all people who suffer from depression are, over active fight or flight reflex, and poor self esteem. The hope is if we can promote processes we can make positive mental health.

“I prescribe skills, not pills.”

Dr. Tony Piparo

People suffering with Depression have smaller hippocampus, which means smaller fewer serotonin receptors. Serotonin contributes to happiness, wellbeing, mood, balance, and with smaller amounts could lead to depression. Anyone want to go to a yoga class?

One thing in , we are not victims of our own birth. We do have the power to not become a suffer of depression. I recently did the 23andme and it gives you some of the genetic health risks from your DNA. There are so many genes and variants but as I look at depression, it is a disease. I think we can reverse it. The average age for a depression diagnosis is 29. I have heard a lot of people say is good as well.

If you read the beginning of my blog. It was obvious I was in complete Fight or Flight. Believe it or not I didn’t visit this particular grocery store for months because of pure embarrassment. Some of the employees who were there still tease my kids when they come in with me. There is one employee who would remind me each time how much she cried because it took her all day to clean the mess up. I would do everything I could possibly avoid her until a couple of years ago. I asked my self why am I doing this? I was trying to avoid those feelings inside me when I had to remember the incident. It doesn’t bother me anymore.

Two things from Dr, Anthony Piparo ,I would like to share with you to remember when you feel anxious or depressed. I want to thank Dr. Piparo because he on his website he discusses how Test Anxiety in children is a link to adult anxiety and depression. I am always about Awareness, Education and Inspiration.

Here are the two things:

  1. Putting on a wrist band on and snap it each time you start worrying.
  2. Use the sideways 8. By circling this imaginary 8 you are breathing in and out and making your breathing slower.
You come first
Sooth you and Calm the situation down

****These two things slowdown the over active Fight or Flight reaction.

One last thing about how you can help a good cause. Dr. Anthony Piparo has a step son who lives in the U.K. He has decided to put his energy into something so wonderful. I am an avid runner and admire anyone who cycles. Mike, the Step-Son is planning on cycling in the U.S. 1,000 miles starting June 1st 2018. He will start in Wisconsin and cycle all the way to Greensboro, N.C., where his brother T.J. who passed away lived.

Please check out Mike Manaley’s article in the Huffington Post.

If you want to follow his journey he has a YouTube channel.  Here.

Thank you for reading this blog. I want to thank all the sources again below. In my studies around Life and Health Coaching, your lifestyle needs to be in balance before we get to the Secondary Food we put on our plate!.

To add some nutritional advise and some emotional support. The juice from an orange or even tangerine is like a burst of sunshine. If you feel sad, down, or weepy than I recommend you eat a orange or tangerine. These two fruits take out the emotional feelings and fill us with warmth instead!




Come with me
Come with me



Let me know what you think?







YAY, I passed my 1st Integrative Nutrition Test, and Don’t Eat Macaroni Sitting on the Dining Room Table!

My Journey to Health and Wellness started on January 19th of this year. I am taking a course to certify me in Integrative Nutrition Coaching with additional Life Coaching requirements.

I left my corporate job a little over a year ago. I am so excited to start this new chapter in my life. Integrative Nutrition is all about creating a ripple effect through Awareness, Education, and Inspiration.

I just took my first test and I only missed two questions! YAY!! I am documenting the importance of the two items I missed because of the merit behind them.
1.In order to reach goals, Mastin Kipp’s suggestion is to choose steps that are ___________ because ___________.

a| scary; they push you to a place where the stakes are higher
If you are unfamiliar with Mastin Kipp, I highly recommend listening to one of his talks or going to his website here,
He is all about living your purpose and stepping out of your comfort zone. I think we all do this too often!

2. If you prioritize your organic purchases, which produce is best to make sure it is organic?
a| strawberries, apples, and peaches
This is all based on Pesticide risks. One interesting study is Pesticides are linked to Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s, Cancer(Prostate, Ovarian, Breast, Testicular, and Kidney) and also increases respiratory issues, depression, and developmental problems in children. The U.S. carries more risk than most countries. Make sure you are buying organic and especially the 3 fruits I listed above! Check out more information about this at

3. Don’t Eat Macaroni while sitting on top of the table! Yes, this was my Organic Macaroni and it was microwaved….Shhhhh I was in a hurry! Carbohydrates are very essential but please pick from this list.
Brown Rice, Buckwheat, Bulgur, Millet , Wild Rice, Whole grain Barley, and Steel Cut Oatmeal. Oh, and try Yuca Root which you normally can find by the garlic and onions. It is a very interesting looking root. Read about the difference in the Yucas vs Potatoes and where they are from at
Or, even better, try this fellow WordPress blogger about the yuca root,

This is short and sweet! It is Spring Break for my 3 Kids! Have a great rest of the week!

Health and HAppiness

Bad day


Have you ever told someone that you’re having a bad day? I recently started a strength training class because of lack of muscle. I had my baby 16 months ago and wanting to put on a few pounds. I found this really great physical trainer to help with my goal. She accessed weight, my body fat, and made me log what I was eating each day. She used this assessment to determine the best strength training routine.

I meet her in person on Tuesday and Thursday and the other days she printed out a guided routine I could follow from home. She demonstrated each exercise and had me try it as well to check my form and make corrections as needed. All I have to do is show up from 11 to 12 on Tuesday and Thursday.  I showed up this Tuesday, had a great session with her she practiced on my form and what I needed to do to improve and we had a great session. On Thursday,  she sent me a text. The text was a normal, “Hey just making sure you Are coming to class today at 11am. I can’t believe I sent her this text Hey M—, I hate to do this but I am not going to make it, I am just having A BAD DAY. Yes, I actually sent this to her.

Today I decided to see what the Wizard Internet has to say about, A BAD DAY.  The urban dictionary actually states, A BAD DAY is when you wake up and hit your head on numerous objects, trip on several steps, and coincidentally spill mustard on your totally white clothing, and it usually happens on a Monday. Here are a few synonyms for A BAD DAY.

The Journey of Health and Wellness
Bad Day
  • Bad Hair Day
  • Unlucky Day
  • Awful Day
  • Not So Perfect Day
  • Ghastly Day
  • Monday

One of the presenters in my Integrative Nutrition Class says, put your hand over your heart. Can you feel it beating? Isn’t it amazing even when we are sleeping your heart is still working for you. Every breath we take is a miracle, and feel gratitude for waking up to another beautiful day of being alive.

“It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.”
― Germany Kent

If I am honest, I really don’t enjoy lifting weights. I always feel awkward. I have these little itty-bitty muscles and never took the time over the years to learn proper form. I feel out of place. All this being said is more reason for me to choose to gain more muscle and learn proper form. I could come up with a hundred reasons on not being present or showing up fully to my strength training class. I need to own my lack of knowledge and take responsibility of learning something new. This is necessary if I want to reach my goal. Otherwise it was just an idea and nothing is gained with out hard work.

Improving our physical health with a busy work routine or commitments we can neglect our own personal health. If we have positive thinking this will help illuminate lack of motivation.

My strength trainer is great in her role and I was actually acting out the way many potential clients do in Health, Life and Physical Wellness.  I wanted to write a blog describing how it must be for client and how we can easily lack responsibility and ownership of our goals and perceived destinations.

Journey of Health and Wellness
Bad Day

One very interesting phenomena in coaching is called Mind Mirrors. In my class of integrative nutrition, we are learning how often times the client asking for help, is dealing with the same issues we may be experiencing. The magic of Mirroring can be almost bizarre when the client starts talking about themselves. Often times, the Coach can wonder,  how am I going to help this person with the same issues the coach is experiencing? We all live very busy lives and often times, the coach doesn’t make time to nurture themselves.  In our heads we think, time is limited, when we are ready to receive the message than the mirror has done her job.

We need to embrace the mirror and step up to it. In Health Coaching we have the ability to attract into our lives whatever we are focused on. By using the same power of the mind, we can translate our thoughts and materialize it into reality. If you want to read more about mirroring check here.

There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the end of the strings that somebody else pulls- Howard Thurman

The Law of Attraction is the belief that my focusing on positive or negative thoughts a person brings positive or negative into their life. This is why the universe is such a infinitely awesome place. It is thought Buddha believed, What you have become is what you have thought.” Obviously Mirroring and The Law of Attraction are very similar. If  you want to read about the Law of Attraction read here

I am looking at this list, it says, Michelle double your calories for the time being. You need to eat at least 1600 cal per day, protein, healthy fat, and complex carbohydrate at every meal. Stay hydrated. Stay on your training schedule below. No excuses.

  • Monday cardio power upper focus body weights only
  • Tuesday total body strength with my awesome strength training coach
  • Wednesday cardio power lower focus
  • Thursday total body strength with my awesome teacher(I let myself down)
  • Friday cardio of your choice
  • Saturday at the gym lifting weights upper and lower
  • Sunday rest
The Journey of Health and Wellness
Mind Mirroring or Law of Attraction

This is my blog of confession. I was the text book case of not taking responsibility for my goals. No ones going to lift weights for you MICHELLE! I’m not beating myself up but it was a good way for me to see what its like on the other side for a client.

Journey to Health and Wellness
Mind Mirror or Law of Attraction

Oh, I have a lot more to tell you along my journey. Body image and all that jazz has always been a struggle for me. Remember nothing is off limits. I promise I will get to all this in future blogs!


A Health and Wellness Journey, When Cancer Comes Back…





This blog is dedicated to the most creative, funny, critical thinker, and supporter to my many crazy endeavors. MY DAD. He is very much with us and going strong! He doesn’t know it but has always been my hero. We definitely can have our differences of opinion, but I know he loves me.


Dad, Thank You for being my first client or being open to some changes in your diet and listening to my endless chatter on nutrition. Thanks for being my inspiration for Health and Wellness and I know with(HOPE) more people will become AWARE, EDUCATED, and INSPIRED around what they eat.


I had the chance to interview my dad the other day. His cancer recently came back, although we also learned that it has not spread! So we are teetering on the border between relief for today and worry for tomorrow. Here is what he had to tell me about his diet over the years.

1. What did you enjoy most growing up around food preparation, and as a family, what was the normal ritual around preparing a meal? What was your favorite food your mom or dad cooked and why?

Sunday meals were special, with the smell of cooking fried chicken permeating throughout the house in the early morning. I would wonder into the kitchen, and a whole chicken would have been cut up and floured the night before and placed into a deep cast iron skillet full of lard! This grease and chicken fat would be made into gravy. Before church, Mom would prepare homemade biscuits to be put into the oven after church. Vegetables varied depending on the time of year, but butter beans, corn collards, squash and tomatoes were always available and cooked in butter or grease with an added tablespoon of sugar! Iced tea was the beverage of choice, always with sugar and lemon, of course. Dessert was consistent—either pie or cake—and when guests were over, it  always included ice cream!

2. Do you think society has changed in the way we eat? What additions to our nutrition, good or bad, have we added? How do you think it impacted families in the 70’s and 80’s and why?

Our society’s eating habits have changed most with breakfast. I usually ate a full breakfast with scrambled eggs, bacon or a slice of country ham, and toast with butter and homemade jam. Now our younger people eat no breakfast, or they consume an energy drink or a Starbucks latte! I did many physical chores every morning before school, like feeding cattle and chickens! This time of my life versus during the transition from the 70’s to 80’s is different as far as the physical is concerned. However, I did consume many regular Cokes, and when I was about 6 years old, I drank my first Pepsi! I didn’t have a diet drink or any artificial sweeteners until in my late 20’s!

3. What foods did you add to your diet in the last 50 years that are different than what you grew up eating? Which foods would you eliminate from your diet and why? What have you changed about your diet since you found out your cancer has returned? How does this make you feel? What emotions does cancer bring up for you? Remember, Dad, I love you, and I am wanting to make a difference in a small kind of way through awareness, education, and inspiration.

My number number one diet change in the last 50 years is added artificial sweeteners and GMOs! Since my second bout with cancer, I stay aware of my diet by eating less meat, more fish and vegetables, and reading more nutrition labels to learn about the contents of my food! With my cancer returning, I approach everyday with a cloud over my head, but I remain optimistic in making the right choices in my diet and researching a complete cure. I’m sure my children will live to see a complete cure for cancer, and I believe diet and life styles are apart of the preventable solution.

I know that this topic isn’t one that I need to spend a lot of time explaining to my readers. Almost everyone has had a close and personal encounter with the disease called cancer, whether it has happened to themselves, a member of their immediate family, or a friend and loved one. Sometimes these stories end in tragedy, sometimes in a brief respite, and sometimes in a hard-earned lesson about the value of life and the gratitude to be carried through it every day.


When Cancer comes back
Life is a Journey of Health and Wellness

In my case, my dad has experienced two episodes of cancer. It’s always difficult to face this again, already knowing the hardship that it can bring ahead of time and dreading its return. When this terrifying and life-threatening disease rears its ugly head, I think many of us agree that there’s not much we wouldn’t try to insure that it either goes away once and for all or never shows up in the first place.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a wonderful seminar put on by David “Avocado” Wolfe. If you don’t know who he is, you can read more about him at his website here. He is a leader in the holistic health world, a best-selling author, spokesperson for Nutribullet, entrepreneur, and lots more. He is a big advocate of doing things like growing your own food, being outside, and making everyday as good as it can be—all things that I can completely get behind!

At this event, he also happened to be talking about different herbs and antioxidants that might help battle cancer. You can read his blog post here about all of the different foods that he says will strengthen your immune system and reduce inflammation, which, according to the Cancer Institute, can lead to cancer and other diseases. These foods are: goji berries, wild blueberries, dark chocolate (yum!), pecans, artichokes (a personal fave), elderberries, kidney beans, cranberries, blackberries, and cilantro.

Here’s a little meal plan that I cooked up for you that combines all 10—that’s right!—of these super-delicious, super-cancer-fighting foods.

Entree: Red beans and rice. If you use brown rice for an alternative that’s higher in fiber and lower on the glycemic index, you’ll want to just soak the rice for an hour before cooking. Try this delicious recipe from the Food Network that includes cilantro, as well!

Side: Boiled artichokes are such a simple and satisfactory part of a hearty dinner. If you whip up some aioli to dip them in, made with a heart-healthy olive oil mayo, you can totally elevate your game!

Dessert: berry crumble. Using goji berries, wild blueberries, elderberries, cranberries, and blackberries, you can make this delicious gluten-free crumble (with the pecans!) from the Minimalist Baker.

I hope that, if your family or loved ones are dealing with this particularly difficult part of life, that you can at least hit pause and take some time to sit down and enjoy one another’s presence over a delicious meal, especially one that includes some antioxidant-rich foods.

when cancer comes back
my dads journey to health and wellness

What is one of your favorite recipes with antioxidant-rich ingredients?


What is one of your favorite recipes with antioxidant-rich ingredients?

*(HOPE) This blog is guided by HOPE. Everyone needs hope! This is also in dedication to my Aunt Cathy who is and will always be my Hope!