Redesign with Jackie Woodside

June 20, 2018

If you’re not feeling good in some way with the life that you designed, it’s time to step back to look and redesigning it.
– Jackie Woodside

On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Jackie Woodside, an author, speaker, professional development trainer and coach with years of experience as a therapist.

We start out talking about to-do lists. Jackie teaches to-do lists are a setup for failure. If you’re addicted to your to do list like a lot of people I know, that may sound crazy. But here’s the problem: the to-dos are never tied to a time when they will get done and so often we underestimate how long things will take.

Jackie suggests taking 10–15 minutes to debrief and write down all the things you have to do that day. Then put it on your planner—when will you do it? This is where you realize you can’t actually do all of these things. The overwhelm and stress we feel comes from not being able to do all of the things we think we can/need to do.

We talk about:

  • Getting real about what you can actually do and saying no to things you can’t do
  • Not making automatic default choices because it’s what everybody else is doing
  • Getting super clear on your core values and scheduling your life based on all your core values (Jackie even color codes her schedule)
  • Full life integration vs. work-life balance
  • Doing a “daily debrief” where you go back through your schedule and move anything that you didn’t complete to another time slot in the week
  • How our belief that we don’t have enough time or money keep us stuck in not having time money—and how starting with possibility or yes opens things up
  • Creating a transformational, strategic life design.


Jackie Woodside, CPC, LICSW is a best-selling author, TEDx speaker, radio and television personality and seminar leader who is passionate about the expanding the edge of human potential. Jackie provides custom training programs, workshops and keynote speeches for businesses, government and non-profit organizations, spiritual centers and national organizations around the country.



Doable Changes from this episode:

  • PLAN WHEN YOU WILL DO THINGS. Instead of a to do list that is really a brain dump of all the things you think you need to do, make an intentional list. Take 10 minutes to jot down all the things you can think of. But then get really realistic about how long things take and what fits into your schedule. You will have to say no to some things.

  • THINK POSITIVE. Next time you find yourself saying, “I don’t have time” or “I can’t afford to do that,” pause and rethink. Tell yourself, “I do have time” or “Yes, I’m going to do that class I’m super excited about” or “Yes, we’re going to get out dream house” — even if you don’t know how yet. Start by believing in the possibility.

  • DEBRIEF AT THE END OF THE DAY. Even if you get really good about being realistic with your time, things will come up that derail your plan. Debrief at the end of the day to see what didn’t happen and move those things foward to another day that week.



Everything is Connected with Jacqui Bryan

June 13, 2018

The microbiome is something that not only affects your immunity but it changes over time. It’s kind of like your fingerprint. – Jacqui Bryan

On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Jacqui Bryan, a functional nutritionist, health coach, and whole health educator. Jacqui had worked in healthcare for years as a nurse and consultant, but after going through treatment for breast cancer, she decided she needed to educate herself and found others wanted to learn what she was learning.

We dive into the microbiome, the trillions of bacteria on and in your body. If you’ve been hearing about gut health, that’s part of your microbiome. And these tiny living things affect how our body works. They affect our weight. They affect our immune systems. We’re still learning more about the microbiome all the time, and Jacqui has a lot to say about this topic.

One of the best things we can do to nurture our microbiome is eat clean. That means lots of real, whole food, like nine to thirteen servings of fruits and vegetables daily—one apple, a cup of leafy vegetables ... Getting all these servings in and variety does so much to keep you healthy

We talk about:

  • The effect stress has on the gut and why it is so important to reduce stress
  • How everything is connected in our bodies and health
  • The problem of not unplugging and the stress that puts on us
  • Eating clean as a stress reducer, especially when it comes to sugar
  • Building a health care team and recognizing that you are the expert on your own health
  • Treating root causes instead of using a Bandaid approach to health issues


Jacqui Bryan has been a Registered Nurse for over 20 years. She earned a Master’s of Science in Health Communication from Tufts University School of Medicine. Jacqui's personal experience with a devastating breast cancer diagnosis in 2003 spurred her to create educational programs on the connection between disease and unhealthy lifestyle choices. Jacqui is also a professional speaker and regular consultant on healthy lifestyle modification. As a health coach and educator, Jacqui combines years of medical experience with behavioral strategies to help her clients replace risky behaviors with ones that support a healthier life.


Doable Changes from this episode:

  • EAT A VARIETY OF FRUITS AND VEGGIES. If 9–13 servings of fruits and vegetables daily sounds daunting, start where you are and just upgrade that. Add one fruit or vegetable to every meal. Pick one you don’t usually eat or round out your rainbow. Make a game of getting a variety of colors each day.

  • UNPLUG. Jacqui talks about the stress we have because we are never unplugged. Create an unplugged zone in your life. Maybe it’s the dinner table and all electronics are off. Silence them too, because even if you don’t check your phone, the little ping that a message came in keeps you from the unplugged space.

  • BE AWARE OF SUGAR. Sugar is huge when it comes to microbiome health, and part of the problem is that people aren’t even aware how much sugar they consume. This week, notice where sugar is in your diet and how much. Think about drinks (including coffee drinks, soda, alcohol …), salad dressing and other condiments, and breads and cereals in addition to foods you think of as having a lot of sugar.



My School of Mom

June 7, 2018


I could have the health that I was desiring. It was up to me. If I believed it, I could have it. And I didn’t have to do it alone.

On this episode of the Plan Simple Podcast, I’m doing something a little different. I celebrated my birthday recently, which is a time of reflection for me, and I decided I wanted to share my story in a different way. Nine years ago, I was an exhausted, uninspired, fat, workaholic mom of three kids under five. I hit a wall and knew something had to change.

I had no idea how profound the changes in my health, happiness, family, spirituality, and work would be.

Today I’m focusing on three key lessons I’ve learned in the past nine years, and talking with two of the people that I’ve learned from and with too!

These are the core lessons I’ve learned:

  1. Change starts with me, but I can’t do it alone.
  2. I have a lot to learn – and there are so many people who can help me.
  3. Accountability by friends can make a huge difference.

I’m going to talk about all of these today because I think we all need these lessons, and even if we’ve learned them, we need reminders. (Myself very much included!)


Believe in the Change You Want

When you’re ready, you know it. And all you have to do is take the first step. I had no idea how I was going to change, all I knew was that I was ready to do whatever it was going to take to not be tired, not feel yucky, not feel like a bad mom, not have so much extra weight on my body …

I met one of my mentors, Taylor Wells, the next day, and she gave me my “last diet.” She had me eat real food. Lots of fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds. But besides the food, Taylor taught me a bigger lesson: That I could believe that I could have the health that I was desiring. That was up to me. If I believed it, I could have it.

Taylor shares these bits of wisdom:

  • I believe that when you feel something in your heart and it resonates ... go with that.
  • What you focus on, grows. Choose to focus on things that make you feel good.
  • Stop arguing with your limitations. Tell me what you can do, what you love, what you want.
  • Whether it’s creating a vision for yourself or starting a morning routine, start where you are, any way that you can. Just start.


Mentors Matter

After Taylor got me on my path, I got really excited about learning. I found so many teachers and mentors (you’ll find a lot of them in the links). Nina Manoloson taught me to cook. And she taught me the 10.10.10 Method. The idea that scheduling 10 minutes for something for you makes a huge difference.

From there it was like a web of meeting people. One person led to another, and I found that what I needed kept showing up in my life when I needed it. I learned so much about food and family (and bringing the two together). As I explored the idea of bringing kids along for the ride, I found Kim John Payne and integrated a lot of his simplicity parenting ideas.

I learned about blogging and organization and abundance. And just when I realized I was creating an expensive hobby, I found Marie Forleo and B-school and learned how to love marketing. She also taught me that everything is figureoutable. Through B-school, my circle continued to widen.


Get an Accountability Buddy

I eventually ended up doing a year-long program with Fabienne Fredrickson. My big takeaway lesson: I need to be personally responsible for everything that happens in my life. This is the cornerstone of having a great life.

What’s interesting was that this lesson wasn’t very different from what I had learned from Taylor but I had, at this point, spiraled up. I was at a new place. I could hear new things.

Fabienne gave me this great tool to actually take personal responsibility —  an accountability buddy. Somebody who we check in with regularly. Somebody else going through similar work, similar stages in their business or life. Someone who encourages us to stretch, while we do the same for them.

One of mine was Kelly Grimes. Kelley and I agree that the structure of an accountability buddy is important. Accountability isn’t about judgement or striving. Accountability is a place to  show up honestly and authentically and have a commitment to yourself to grow. Accountability can be so motivating, and it’s a give and take.

Right now, I have an accountability friend for exercise. We have committed to walking every morning at 6:00. I can tell you that I did not want to walk this morning, but I went because I said I would.


Find Your Mentors

For the past three years, I really searched for mentors wherever I need to upgrade an aspect of my life. It started with food and wellness and parenting as those topics got folded into my work, I needed to learn various aspects of having a business. I learned about crowdfunding and then public speaking. I kept finding the next little step, the next person. It’s Hansel and Gretel following those crumbs.

I keep putting myself out there and finding the people I needed. I’ve made amazing friends and found new teachers and mentors and coaches.

I learned:

  • How to crowdfund from Patty Lennon
  • The need for practice with public speaking from Alexia Vernon
  • To change my money mindset from Kisstina Wise
  • The difference between a coach and a consultant, and how to show up as a coach from Jenny Fenig

And so much more… instagram, photography, pinterest, facebook live, how to bake a chicken… Have you all seen what you can learn online?

And to be clear, I invested in myself on this journey because I really needed to be all in that way. But it does not always have to cost money. I have worked in 12 step fellowships. I have done free challenges. I have read books from the library.


Flow 365

In the same way that I had to learn that changing my food wasn’t just about weight, or really about weight at all, I’ve learned that as I talk about food, it’s really about time.

Making the time to show up on dinner, making the time to move throughout the day, figuring out how you’re going to get groceries into the house in the most efficient way, figuring out whether it’s relaxing to go to the grocery store, whether you need to have a different philosophy for that or different system for that …

Mentorship and accountability buddies have made such a huge difference in my life, and I’ve brought them together in FLOW365.

Go to to get the details.

If you know this is a great move for you, you can email me at and we’ll figure out how we can hop on the phone and talk about whether this is a good fit for you.


Doable Changes from this episode:

  • CHOOSE YOUR FOCUS. What you focus on grows, so choose to focus on things that make you feel good. Write inspiring quotes or your own mantras and goals on notecards to look at throughout the day. Or write them on a sticky note and put in on your mirror. Make it a wallpaper on your phone.
  • TAKE 10 MINUTES FOR YOU. In the morning, plan three 10-minute slots, to do something super nurturing. You might make a green smoothie, you might stretch, you might go on a walk, you might take a nap, you might talk with a friend, you might read a book, you could jump rope, you could hula hoop, whatever feels really great on that day. Plan the 10 minutes into your day … and then do it!

  • REACH OUT. What do you want in your life? Find one person who is doing something related to that and reach out to them. Post on their social page. Join their free (or paid) class. Email them and tell them why a particular podcast or post meant something to you.


Self Love with Nitika Chopra

May 31, 2018

My definition of self love is being more committed to your happiness than to your suffering in every moment. – Nitika Chopra

On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Nitika Chopra, a chronic illness advocate and self-love guru. She has battled psoriosis since she was 10 and psoriatic arthritis since she was 19. While that may sound grim, Nitika is a beacon of light with amazing energy and we talk about her journey from getting diagnosed to bringing this lightness.

She talks about the really hard years when she was in school, so hard she just wanted it to end. And she talks about getting the message, “This isn’t about you” when she wasn’t 15. She’s still holding onto and living this message.

On social media, life might look pretty good for Nitika, but she’ll be the first to tell you that she probably spent the first half of her day crying or journaling or meditating or talking to God f just to get in the right space to be able to thrive.

We talk about:

  • The challenge of getting a diagnosis so that you can learn how to feel better and move forward
  • The power of acknowledging how you feel (even when your feelings are really dark)
  • Knowing what you need so that you can get your needs met
  • The importance of making food, sleep, and emotions a priority
  • Elimination diets, gut health, and knowing what doesn’t work for our bodies
  • Finding a doctor who really means your needs


Nitika Chopra is a talk show host, beauty & lifestyle expert, self love guru, and chronic illness advocate.  She was diagnosed with chronic disease over 26 years ago, and she’s come a long way. She was overwhelmed with pain, insecurity, confusion and battling depression and found self-care as a saving grace. She learned that she was more than her condition, developed compassion for her condition and herself, and her perspective shifted from extreme despair to a deep faith that there was a better way. She is more committed to her happiness than her suffering, and she shares her experience and joy with others.


Doable Changes from this episode:

  • GET THE SLEEP YOU NEED. Instead of checking your email at 10 PM, go to bed. The extra sleep will serve you well. Understand what your body needs for sleep and commit to getting it.

  • NOURISH YOURSELF. Nourish yourself. It doesn’t have to be a candlelit, hour long exploration of your soul. It isn’t about what dinner looks like. Take 15 minutes to put together a simple, nourishing meal and eat it. No matter how busy you are, this will serve you.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FEELINGS. Even though Nitika believes in being more committed to your happiness than your suffering, she also believes that acknowledging what you feel just makes everything better. If you are having a hard time, instead of trying to push past it or deny it, acknowledge it. Say, “I’m so sad right now” or “I’m really disappointed” or angry or frustrated … or whatever it is. Just acknowledging it can help your body relax and help you move past it.



Get Past the Myths that Keep You Stuck

May 23, 2018

To really lead the lives that we desire and be the role models our kids deserve, we need to move past the myths that keep us stuck. I made the Flow Planner and developed the FLOW Planning Method, to help free ourselves of these myths.

MYTH #1 – I have to get work done first to create space and time for family.
OR I have to be mom now and put my career on hold.

What if work is never feeling done because you feel incomplete? What if that incompleteness has nothing to do with work, but with your energy, your connection to one of your kids, your relationship with your spouse, your desire to go clothes shopping, or longing go to a yoga class.

If you are pulled towards mom, what if your incomplete feeling means you have something more you need to do on this planet?

We think we have to choose between work and family, but if we know that we can fit in both helps us be in FLOW.


MYTH #2 – If being busy at work leads to success, then busy at home will lead to success.

I fell into this myth. When Felix was little, we did things at every moment. By the time Perla came a long we couldn’t, but I got the advice that maybe that was a good thing. Being at home — cooking, digging, resting, and playing without entertaining is amazing for you and your kids.

When did busy become a status symbol? Not being busy at home is a really good thing.

Suggested resource: Simplicity Parenting and Kim John Payne on Plan Simple Meals


MYTH #3 – Being domestic means I’m not a good at my work, not a good CEO, not a real ladyboss.

This is something that is really embedded in our belief system, but I am not convinced it is true. We are always trying to prove ourselves as women. We get back to work as soon as we can after kids. We feel shame around working from home. But we should be proud of being able to raise our kids and run our busineses. Listen in to the podcast from Jenny Fenig who runs and amazing business and homeschools two of her 3 kids.  

MYTH #4 – It is just a phase. It will all get better when ...

Yes, stuff changes in your life, but you need to give yourself permission to create the life you want now.

If you wait until your kids turn (fill in any age) or when you make more money, when you move, when the school year ends … you’ll find that when you get to that point, what you want will change. So that doesn’t really work.

You can start creating the life you want right now, wherever you are.


MYTH #5 – I just don’t have the time.

It takes time and practice to learn that this one isn’t true. There are people who have achieved amazing things who have the same amount of time as you and I do in our days. We choose how we want to spend our time. So let’s start choosing the things we want instead of putting them aside.

I love this quote from Alexia Vernon: “I’m not carrying around a story in my head that I’m busy, I don’t have enough time, that I’m unhappy. I’m choosing to bring the energy to everything of “I have time, I have space, this is what I have chosen, and thank you more please.”


Are you ready to let go of the story that you are too busy? Can you get past the other four myths?

How do we change things? How do we fit in the things that make a difference all the time, instead of some day.

I think it takes two parts: vision and a plan. We have to consistently recall both.

And remember that this is an ongoing process. This isn’t something that we are ever done with.

How can we spend our days loving the process?

An amazing life lives in loving the process. Here are 11 ideas to help you love the process:

Have a vision.
Make sure your vision includes 4 categories: food and wellness, lifestyle and family, om (aka spirituality and downtime), and work. Take 15 minutes to write about what your life will look like in 10 years. It will be very different from where you are now, so it gives you a big picture view.

Based on where you want to be 10 years from now, create a 90 day plan. If you said that is 10 years you will be active and healthy., maybe over the next 90 days you implement a new food system or exercise routine. If you said that you will live in glass house on a lake, but you are currently living in an apartment in the city, then maybe you take a course on wealth building, or press go on a revenue stream you are sitting on, or spend the summer camping at different lakes to see what they are like. There is never one path!

I’m doing a workshop on creating your 90 day plan on May 30.

Get it out of your head.

Write it all down. I call this the Master List. These are ALL the things you have in your head that you are trying to remember. Just do a 10-minute brain dump. If your dump is all work, or all household tasks, try to add from the other FLOW categories for 4 extra minutes.


Batch and time block.

Time blocking means setting chunks of time aside to do certain categories of tasks — work time, family time, meal prep time, downtime, exercise time, marketing time, money time, etc. Sometimes I do this weekly, but I try to stay consistent for a month or season with only small tweaks.

Batching means doing like tasks in in a row. On the work front, I spend a week once a month creating content. I check and respond to email all at once twice a day (when I am behaving myself!). I batch meal prep on Sundays to make my weekdays easier!

Focus on gratitude.
Write down 3 things you are grateful for. They can be simple. They don’t have to be huge things: the sun shining, knowing your fridge is filled with good food, being in bed, kids’ chatter …

Choose 3 things to do today.
You know your vision. You have done a brain dump. Choose only 3 things you will do today that will move you toward your vision. Choose things you really can do, and make sure they are not all from the same category in your life.

Know what you will eat.
Decide what you are having for your meals for the day. You will save so much time wasted thinking. Decide and write it down.

Stay in action.
Know how you will move food and house forward today. What simple, doable thing can you do today? What if you cleaned one bin instead of the whole garage? What if you chopped some veggies for dinner in the morning to help you stick to your plan? Keep it doable.

Plan how you will take care of yourself today.
Again, keep it simple and doable. It could mean making sure you drink enough water. It could be eating the healthy food you planned to eat. I could be getting up from your desk to take a walk twice a day, going to bed on time, turning your phone off before bed …

Track habits.
Eat 10 veggies a day. Drink enough water. Move your body. What habit do you want to build? Do you want more family dinner? Do you want to develop a meditation habit. Keeping track of what you are doing helps you remember the things you want to do as you get used to doing them. You won’t be perfect, but tracking helps the process.

Schedule and learn.
Schedule all the things that aren’t work: sleep, food prep, enjoying meals, downtime, exercise … Start by putting them on your calendar. Learn from what you actually did. Don’t think of it as failure. Get curious about why you didn’t go with your plan. Learn so you can make better choices tomorrow.

Magic Moments
When you start envisioning what you want and moving towards it, magic happens. Nine years ago, I said that I was ready for a change. I got an email from my yoga studio and decided to show up. When I was there, I felt compelled to talk to the teacher, who taught me about food. All I did was decide one thing and take one little step.

You can decide what you want. You can take little steps. You will see magic too. Learn to notice it. Write it down. Look back at that when it feels hard. Keep going.

Download your Today Planner to help you plan how you will follow steps 4–8 each day.

Then sign up to join me for a 90-Day Plan workshop on May 30!



A Healthy Gut with Jade Venables

May 16, 2018

We can get our gut so healthy, and we can reverse a lot of health issues doing so.  – Jade Venables

On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Jade Venables of the Healthy Mommy Movement summit about gut health. Not quite sure what gut health is all about (even if you’ve been hearing about it more and more)? We’ll get you up to speed.

Jade shares her own health journey away from osteopenia, borderline diabetes, carpal tunnel and chronic fatigue and healing her son who was rushed to the hospital at 18 months due to an autoimmune disease.

In the process, she learned a lot about gut health, how the gut is related to the brain, how the gut really affects every system. We can get our guts healthy, but our brain wants to take over, so we can undo a lot of good work with stress. That’s where things like meditation and exercise come in—health as a complete package. Jade owns up to not being very fit, which I love, because we’re all imperfect making small changes in the right direction.

We talk about:

  • How understanding the why of giving up gluten and dairy can blow your mind and help you make the change
  • The problem with our healthcare system and schools when it comes to healthy eating
  • Ways to feed kids without making them feel left out (and how sometimes worrying about feeling different is our story, not their)
  • Using smoothies as snacks and treats at home or when you are out
  • Products—(those for our bodies like shampoo or toothpaste and otherwise, like cleaners or air fresheners) that we use at home can affect the gut
  • Creating a non-toxic medicine chest tool box


Jade Venables is a health advocate and creator of “The Healthy Mommy Movement,” a free, online summit. For the Healthy Mommy Movement summit, Jade interviewed doctors and experts about health issues to prove that our bodies are waiting for us to heal them and to help moms make healthier choices for themselves and their families.


Doable Changes from this episode:

  • HAVE A QUICK, GO-TO STRESS BUSTER. Stress can do a number on our gut. Next time you start to feel extra stressed, take some deep breaths, take 5 minutes to meditate, or take a short walk. First start noticing your stress and using a tool like this to reduce it. You can also try adding one of these tools proactively into your day before you feel stressed.

  • MAKE A FRUIT SMOOTHIE. Next time your kids want an afterschool snack or any of you need a sweet treat, try blending some bananas and strawberries with a little water. Or mango and pineapple. There are so many combinations. You can bump up the goodness with some spinach, but if you aren’t sold on green smoothies yet, try just fruit and water. See that it can be sweet and simple, real food that feels like a treat.

  • CHANGE ONE HOUSEHOLD PRODUCT. You can use baking soda on your teeth. You can use vinegar as a glass cleaner. You can use essential oils instead of perfume. There are lots of non-toxic products for home and body. You do need to read the labels, but you can use a tool like Environmental Working Group (EWG) to help you find one a replacement product for an unhealthy product you currently use. Good starting points: shampoo, deodorant, detergent, any household cleaner.



Pleasure is productive with Janna Denton-Howes

May 10, 2018

Pleasure is productive... It’s not a side thing that you’re doing, it’s the main event. It helps you do what you want to do in your life. – Janna Denton Howes

On this episode of the Plan Simple Podcast, we’re talking about something of a taboo topic—sex. I’m so excited to have Janna Denton-Howes, a marriage coach and expert on sex and the male brain here today. We really dive into it, so put in some earbuds if you’re listening in with kids around.

It’s funny, we DO talk about sex, and Janna has 4 pillars to share for couples wanting more and better sex, but the first three are outside of the bedroom. We start off talking about why we need more pleasure, and not the sexual kind. Janna gives lots of examples of prioritizing pleasure in our lives, and amazingly, it’s not necessarily about making more room in our calendars.  

We do talk about scheduling though. Janna recommends scheduling sex, but not like she did at first. She shares the experience of scheduling sex for Friday night and feeling sick thinking about it every Thursday. Instead she suggests scheduling exploration dates. For two hours or more, you prioritize pleasure, trust what feels good and what does not, and you stay connected with your body in a sexual experience rather than thinking about what he wants, what lights him up.

We talk about:

  • Sex being good for your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness, drawing a line of having sex anymore unless you want it—and also about how you can learn to want it more
  • Prioritizing your pleasure in daily life—Janna explains how this isn’t the same as self-care
  • Letting go of “shoulds” and trusting what feels good and what doesn’t
  • Connecting with your body on an emotional and physical level and how you can be compassionate and start a conversation with yourself, even when it feels awkward and triggers childhood or religious shame
  • Taking charge of the sexual experience and how more pleasure does NOT involve “spicing things up”
  • Scheduling sex in a way that doesn’t feel like more pressure to perform—and how only having scheduled sex can be freeing
  • Why to separate sex from date night and how to actually have sex when you have kids in the house
  • Tips for talking with kids about sex

Janna Denton-Howes is a professionally trained Marriage Coach who is known for her popular program, 30 Days To Wanting It More". Affectionately called, "Chief Libido Officer" and "Husband Whisperer" by her participants and coaching clients, Janna not only helps married women take sex off their to-do lists but brings couples back to each other.


Doable Changes from this episode:

  • PRIORITIZE YOUR PLEASURE. This doesn’t have to cost anything and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Janna gives examples of just enjoying the feel of water on your skin in the shower or taking a walk because you enjoy it (not for exercise) or having a dish soap you enjoy the scent of while you are washing dishes, or enjoy the sunshine streaming through your window. Prioritizing pleasure isn’t something you have to make more time for, it’s something you can do while doing anything else in your day.

  • GET TO KNOW YOUR BODY. I talk a lot about food and how it affects our bodies, but I admit, I didn’t really know parts of my body until my first baby was born. I’m not the only one. Get a mirror and get to know your vulva, labia, and clitoris. Maybe your doable change is just saying those words right now. Do that, and then have a look. Explore

  • SCHEDULE SEX. Go ahead, block off a couple of hours in your planner. Label it SEX or exploration date. Set up the ground rules around this: prioritize your pleasure, trust what feels good and what does not, and stay connected with your body in a sexual instead of thinking about what your partner wants. This takes some communication. It may feel uncomfortable. But try it. See how it changes the dynamic. See what you like and don’t. See what you might want to explore next.



Being Organized vs. Being Balanced with Jen Liddy

May 2, 2018

You don't need a longer to-do list. We need to get you back to you. What do you want?

– Jen Liddy

On this episode of the Plan Simple Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Jen Liddy, an accountability and mindset coach about planning systems and order and creating more ease.

Jen has always been super organized and describes herself as a linear thinker. We talk about how that helps and sometimes limits her. I love her explanation of how she can fill in her schedule like Tetris blocks, but she realized—and this is so important—that some of those blocks need to be empty blocks for recharging.

She even tells here clients, who come in tell her that they need to be more productive and get more done, that they need a new calendar or planner—they need to get back to themselves, what they really want.

We talk about:

  • The difference between being organized and being balanced
  • The fact that doing more isn’t the answer—in fact constraining your to do list helps
  • The expansiveness in slowing down (even when it is hard for you)
  • How our bodies tell us what we need—things like getting sick again and again or gaining 25 pounds—but we don’t listen
  • Setting up your day and choosing what is in it so there is not panic about getting “everything” done
  • The importance of accountability, especially to obligers, and how accountability can be fun instead of judgmental


Jen Liddy is an Accountability & Mindset Coach with a mission to support, guide, & coach people to achieve that goal that's been nagging at them for so long now! Her dream job is helping entrepreneurs feel supported, get organized, confidently make decisions, achieve goals—and have a life again.


Doable Changes from this episode:

  • CONSTRAIN YOUR TO DO LIST. Yes, you need a place for all the things in your brain. Call it a braindump or a parking lot, but not your to do list. Choose the 3 things you really want to get done for the day. Write them on a Post-it and keep them in front of you. You will get more things done, but you stay focused on the 3 things you write down.
  • DO THE UNCOMFORTABLE THING. Most of us put something on our list that we don’t really want to do. It’s hard or will take a lot of energy, so we don’t do it. Do the uncomfortable thing. Once you do that and realize that you can do hard things, you gain confidence and start getting your list done more regularly.
  • BUILD EMPTY BLOCKS INTO YOUR SCHEDULE. Empty blocks are essential for recharging. If you aren’t in the habit of including empty blocks in your schedule, it can feel a little strange or uncomfortable. Try adding one in this week. Don’t schedule anything else in that time. Use that for something that recharges you. As you get used to this doable change, try adding in more empty blocks.



Inspiration and Trusting Your Gut with Patricia van Essche

April 26, 2018

It's never going to be balanced perfectly, but I think if you schedule it out and you plan it, then it can happen.
– Patricia van Essche

On this episode of the Plan Simple Podcast, I’m so excited to talk with Patricia van Essche, a multipassionate artist, entrepreneur and mom. Her kids are in college or working now, and I love getting tips from parents a little further down the line. We talk about how she has flowed from one focus to another and the creativity that flows through it all.

She explained how she left a big job to be home with her kids. During that time she began doing decorative painting. When that fell out of fashion, she focused on her illustrations. Most recently she discovered pilates and is training to be a pilates teacher. She’s very passionate about her work, but also about being with her kids and about the food. We dove into how she found balance through systems, planning creativity.

While, I’ve been shifting away from focusing only on food on the show, Patricia’s passion for food is strong. We talked about the food she ate growing up and the desire for quick food, and about how she pulls things together quickly, even if it isn’t a fast meal. She talks about recipes that incorporate what she has on hand, using a slow cooker, and paying attention to the beautiful details.

We talk about:

  • Being creative with food and showing your kids how to be creative and independent
  • Favorite kitchen tools that keep good food simple, like a juicer and slow cooker
  • How paying attention to the beautiful details helps us and those around us eat better
  • Focusing on how your body feels as a way to look better and the 80-20 rule (20% exercise and then 80% nutrition)
  • Pilates as a restorative practice that benefits mind and body and can help us heal
  • EFT as way to release and putting love into what you do greatly


Patricia van Essche, better known to her clients, fans and followers as PVE, is a bon vivant as well as an accomplished artist and illustrator. She has worked for numerous private commissions as well as with exclusive clients including J. McLaughlin, Secrets Gourmet, The Park Avenue Fund, The Princess Grace Foundation and Lava Barre. PVE lives in Westchester County, New York.  PVE is devoted to living artfully. She’s the mother of a college student and 25-year-old twins. And she most recently trained to teach Pilates and practices Yoga, Meditation and inspires others to find the joy of art and wellness.


Doable Changes from this episode:

  • Know what you're going to have for dinner in the morning. Patricia got this tip from her mother, and it is one I share often. Simply knowing what you will have for dinner in the morning takes a lot of fretting and uncertainty out of your day. Plus when you know the plan, you can move food forward throughout the day.

  • No toys at the table. Dinner is a sacred time to connect with your family, to talk about what was good and bad about the day. You can’t do that when people are plugged in to their technology. Create a basket for phones or another system so that you can can focus on your family at a meal. (You can even ask guests to follow this ritual as well.)

  • Keep binders of food ideas. Patricia talked about Thanksgiving as a favorite meal and how she uses a binder to keep notes that she can refer back to the next year. You can also use binders for simple recipes you want to try (tap into this when you are feeling stuck or in a rut), past meal plans (some times I recycle a week that worked well), favorite recipes you use again and again.

REALLY getting healthy as a family can be a big lifestyle change. But no matter how insurmountable it may feel, focusing on one doable change at a time can help you

take small steps toward your big goal.

A healthy lifestyle is really made of lots of little things that when repeated regularly and added together over time make a huge impact on your life.

Choose one Doable Change every Sunday night — one thing that you are willing to play with for the week. The key is to keep it doable and fun! Write that thing on a sticky note or your phone so you remember it. Then put 3 things on your calendar that support it.

Choose from the changes above or download a list of 101 Doable Changes we made for you.

If you are as psyched as I am to grow veggies on a patio this summer and indoors all winter, you are going to want to check this out! I have watched friends have these for years, and am so excited to have my own! (Psssst… There are amazing curriculums that have been created by the company, to make these a no brainer for schools too!) Read more here, or contact, to learn more, and set up a free 20 minute phone Q and A.