April 14, 2018

Health Is Wealth

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 7:29 am by Broken & Brave

I have been fascinated with health, fitness and nutrition since middle school…at least, middle school is when I recall it all beginning. Looking back now I see the Divine Sculptors hand in everything. All the things I did and tried having no idea it was a gift of Vision and forward thinking being released from inside. I didn’t think about it, I just did it. There was no internet or fast facts available at the fingertips for me to learn to track and plan my nutrition. I learned at a young age to study labels, read about health, I’d buy and subscribe to health related magazines. I’m sure many of the articles I read weren’t true science as I reflect in it now–but it had the foundation and got me in the direction the Lord wanted me going.

I’ve learned so much about myself and life through training. Fitness has been good to me. My love for the weights was immediate and grew in my heart to become a lifestyle. No exercise I had ever done yielded the results weight training did. I learned at an early age that for my petite structure I was relatively strong. Some of it genetics, and some sheer physics. A shorter lever has greater leverage when moving an object from point A to point B. How ever it worked, I was hooked and my love for the sport has been life long.

When I was a teen I loved tuning in to the Olympia to see the women’s divisions. I had a large bulletin board in my bedroom and I had a stationary bicycle. On the board I had a photo I clipped from a magazine of a fit female. I have no idea who she was. I just knew I loved her physique. She was feminine and beautiful, but loaded with lean lines and quality muscle. Even this, God Providence because in the 80’s it wasn’t so popular as it is now for women to lift weights and have any muscle. Everyone was doing jazzercise and aerobics. But there I was, my own personal spin class (before spin classes were invented) with my Walkman jamming and my legs hammering the pedals as I dreamed of seeing just how fit I could be.

Imagine my surprise when five years ago, shortly after birthing my fifth child, I begin to have dreams of bodybuilding and competing. I dismissed it at first for all the usual reasons. But the dreams and call of God persisted.

What a journey it had been. I’ve learned even more about myself as I’ve been stretched beyond stretched outside myself to grow to fit the new extended capacity of “me”. God right there beside me, encouraging me. This is a very mentally challenging sport. I have learned deeper levels of confidence in who I am and how God made me. I’ve learned how to be relaxed and comfortable in uncomfortable situations. I’ve learned even more about my body and what it can do. What an incredible machine these bodies are!

Bodybuilding is a dream I had inside my soul long ago. I didn’t know I’d ever compete as competitions as they are now didn’t exist at the time. But God had planted something inside of me for a later date, but He knew my growing and gleaning had to begin long before I ever graced a stage. Even now, I am aware God’s Purpose for competition is only a gateway to something else He has for me. So I continue to follow His lead obediently. I’m having a little bit of fun along the way…

Trust God with every dream or desire of your heart. He will carry you though every ounce of distrust or unbelief. He is grooming you for greater things. But we must remain still and quiet when He speaks. We must yield our soul to the heart cry of our Lord. He and only He can the future. He gives us glimpses and He polishes and nourishes our ambitions and sculpts them to fit His desirable key.

Maybe it’s time to pull out some shelves dreams, dust them off and once again begin to believe. If the desire has not left you, perhaps it’s because the reality of the vision has yet to kiss you. Your life an open book…write the pages and fill it to overflow with amazing adventures that will make your heart glow.

Just a snapshot of my heart this morning. Was thinking on these things and felt the need to flow the ink and let my heart bleed God’s beauty as only He could deposit it within me.

Your life…sculpted and shaped by Heavens Divine Grace. Wear it well. ~Nicole

“No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” Romans 4:20-21


November 14, 2016

Food For Thought

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 9:29 am by Broken & Brave

Food for Thought…


A big factor in health and weight management is nutrition, but in addition to good nutrition you need portion control. Too much of anything will make you gain excess weight. One way to monitor your intake is by measuring your portions. So, stay off the scale, measure yourself with a tape measure and use a food scale to weigh your food instead. I love my food scale! You can get less expensive or more expensive scales, shop by your budget and need. It’s a great tool. ~Nicole

“But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”

1 Cor. 9:27

September 21, 2016

Divine Design

Posted in Devotional, true story tagged , , , , at 4:08 am by Broken & Brave

Most mornings I drop the family at school and then my youngest stays with me and we go to the track and run some sprints before my morning clients. The same was true yesterday. Later in the day, around noon, we returned to my husband’s office which is adjacent to the track I’ve been using. My son looks toward the sky then replies, “The sun doesn’t look like that when we run sprints.” I smiled inwardly at the complexity of his observation in relation to his age. I proceeded to talk to him of our solar system, the earth, it’s rotation and how we get the calendar year, the seasons and the days and why the sun doesn’t appear to sit in the exact same place. He listens as I explained the excellence and Constance of God’s Provision of Nature.

The same ingenuity God used to sculpt and hang the sun and how the earth is spun is the same ingenuity He used when He sculpt and design you. He IS constant and is there for you…constantly. You never need worry for it for it is there with you always. Just as extraordinary as the knowledge of knowing the sun will again rise after each night it says goodnight- you can trust His faithfulness to complete every good work he has begun in you and it is sure to sparkle, shine and dazzle bright.

Be extraordinary because you are hand crafted from the extraordinary to live an Abundant life in Christ.


“Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.” Proverbs 31:25

August 26, 2016


Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , at 6:12 am by Broken & Brave

“But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:14

The body is comprised almost entirely of water. We cannot live without it. It is a foundation sustenance that maintains and sustains life. Drinking water hydrates your skin, your organs function best when well hydrated and our cells maintain their shape and replicate best in the presence of adequate moisture. Without enough water fatigue sets in, the body begins to compromise its integrity and ability to function properly. Sustained dehydration leads to disease.
Just as it is for the body, it is also true for the heart and soul.

Jesus is the only Rock you can drink from.

Take the time to properly nourish your soul. It will refresh you, bless you, correct you and keep you. Your Peace and Joy will begin to exude everywhere you go! So make time everyday. Be willing to say no to the wants or requests of others for a bit of time so you can unwind at the precious feet of Jesus. Drink from His Cup and never thirst again. ~Nicole


June 16, 2016


Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 6:08 am by Broken & Brave

U-Undaunted Belief
S-Set Apart

The fit female is fabulous in so many ways. She is fabulous for more than just what her body can do, (bearing children, Hello!). She has mental fitness, emotional wholeness, spiritual soundness, as well. She is balanced in every arena and she is locked inside of you.
Unleash her today!


“She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness] for her God-given task and makes her arms strong and firm.”
Proverbs 31:17




May 28, 2016

Expect It…

Posted in Devotional, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:30 am by Broken & Brave

A small child learning to walk may fall 50 times for he or she succeeds to take a handful of steps.
A kid learning to ride their bike may wibble and wobble and even fall over, but they keep getting up.
They say if you fall off of a horse you should get right back on to eradicate any future fear of riding.

How do you know this is not your year? Though we may fall. We may fail, we may not see the fruit of results God has purposed within us, we don’t quit. We don’t give up. We keep going. Everyday is full of success and some of that success goes without you ever knowing who you touched and how you changed their life. You MUST dwell in a place and space of perpetual expectation and anticipation of a blessing. Know it’s coming. Feel it in your gut. He is a God of Big things and He is willing to move heaven and earth for you. Believe~


“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

1 John 4:4


May 20, 2016

Power of One

Posted in true story, Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 6:45 am by Broken & Brave

Yesterday I was privileged to speak briefly to a team of girls soccer players about nutrition. These girls were all about 13 years of age. Captivating their attention and interaction wasn’t easy. I used questions and analogies to try to get them engaged and it worked to a degree. But for the most part they spent the entire talk not looking at me, but watching all the distractions about the field.

I even brough visual aids and samples of healthier options to try. I spoke of the importance of nutrition in these critical years of bone development. Between the ages of 12-21 peek bone mass is laid and it begins to decline by age 22. So, literally right now they are deciding what their elder year bone strength is going to look. So hard for a 13 year old to care about a future so distant.

By the end, I was a little discouraged, did anything I said sink in?

Later that night, I received a text message from one of the parents. When she gathered her daughter after practice I was the first subject out of her mouth and she spoke all about me on the ride home. If only for one, who knows if there were more, some of my message got in.

There is power in the one. Do not shy away or shun what God in your heart has begun just because right now you don’t see anything. God is working. God is using you more than you may know. You are making a difference that just may turn into pure gold in the life of but one. Something beautiful may have begun.

Stay at your course and finish strong.


May 12, 2016

The Dirty Dozen

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 12:05 pm by Broken & Brave

You’ve been working hard. You’ve be faithful to exercise. You’ve been watching what you eat and your portions…but the weight just isn’t coming off like you would like to see. “What’s wrong? Is it just me?” You may be thinking. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not the exception. Here are a few things to consider if this scenario describes you:

1. You cannot out exercise a bad diet. Period. Results are the product of 70-80% nutrition and 20-30% exercise.

2. You are still drinking soda, even diet,   especially diet soda!

3. You are eating too much processed foods. The more natural the foods state the more your body will have to work to digest it. This in itself burns calories and is a workout from the inside!

4. You’ve been dooped by fake health food. You are unknowingly eating snacks you think are healthy little treats or cheats but are really junk food in disguise. This one is huge! Be a label reader. Look for the sugar content.

5. You eat too much sugar even if your calories are low. This includes fruit. Treat fruit like a dessert.

6. You don’t eat enough.
You need quality, frequency and believe it or not, quantity. Too little nutrition and your metabolism will shut down and save every calorie you ingest.

7. You are eating too many calories in the last part of your day.
We call this the sumo wrestler diet. Want to look like a sumo wrestler eat all your calories at night.

8. You aren’t eating enough protein.
Protein is the power house of the cell. All health starts at the cellular level. Feed them what they need!

9. You aren’t drinking enough water.
•how much is enough?

your body weight divided by 2 equals number of ounces you should have each day.

10. You are “rewarding” your hard work with desserts or treats. Scenario: You did fabulous all week with nutrition, portion control and exercise. You indulge in the weekend or special occasion because well, you earned it. Refer back to number 1. You cannot out exercise a bad diet. Don’t self sabotage!

11. You aren’t getting enough rest. The number of hours of sleep/rest you get before midnight is a good indicator of the quality of your overall rest. There is something to be said for early to bed and early to rise. You also need to listen to your body with training. Your body will tell you if you are over training and need a day off. Listen to it.

12. You are a nibbler. You eat a little taste here and there that seem insignificant, but by the end of the day you have several hundred unaccounted for calories going into your body. Illuminate nibbling and you just may find yourself dropping some inches or pounds and gaining ground.

Be a Champion! Honor yourself. Design your success and embrace your beauty. It won’t be reflected in a certain number on the scale, dress size or popping muscle. It will be found in a healthy fit you who feels good and as a result looks good. True health starts within. You can do it! ~Nicole




December 9, 2015

Comforts of Home

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 6:46 am by Broken & Brave

The Lord is Good and His Tender Mercies endure forever.  Fragrant is the sweet smell of kindness.  Aromatic are the fruit of the Spirit as they leave a trail of essential goodness.

Have you ever walked into a house while a fresh fruit pie was baking in the oven? Heaven, right?  The smell is so delicious, so inviting and brings a sense of comfort and “home” even if it’s not your home. This is how it is with the fruit of the spirit.  As we demonstrate these virtues as character attributes in our own virtue it is like we emit a fragrance the world doesn’t understand, but it will highlight our lives to all of man. When fruit is cooked enzymes are released, the firm skin of the fruit softens and the inside of the fruit becomes warm. The more fruit of the spirit flowing in us and through us the more our heart does the same. Life makes many people calloused of heart. But the Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, Meekness, Quiet Strength, Compassion, Encouragement of our Lord possesses power to make every heart soft and warm when it’s allowed.

Whatever has ailed you in life, give it to the Father of Life as a gift this Christmas. He’s been wanting to dispose of your pain all along. Step into His Heart like the comforts of home and allow Him to share some Goodness with you. ~Nicole

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

Gal. 5:22-23

November 27, 2012

I Dared To Ditch Sugar

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 12:41 am by Broken & Brave

It has often been quoted, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Isn’t it true that when you have a large task at hand, it can become cumbersome and overwhelming to think of what is to be accomplished.  We become paralyzed with the notion of it, whatever the task may be, if we allow it. Once we become overwhelmed we become immobilized and ineffective…defeated by a task too grand to conquer. The best way to prevent those overwhelming feelings and doubts of accomplishment is to break the objective down into pieces. Manageable goals with dates attached to them. If we only just begin…

This is true for each of us with our own health and fitness…nutrition included. Instead of waiting for a bad report from the doctor, why not be proactive in your health journey now? I know it can be overwhelming, depending on your objectives and goals. Don’t wait for the New Year. Before you know it, you’ve waited for the following New Year and the circle of life overtakes you and you have accomplished little more than the feeling of dissatisfaction and disappointment.

I am hoping to encourage you to start by sharing my own personal story of how I radically changed my eating and gradually reduced my sugar intake to next to nothing. I didn’t do it over night. I had a plan. I had a goal. My objectives were clear and I set my sights to achieve it. When I first thought about radically changing my diet to something much cleaner, healthier and “sugar free”, I truly had little idea of what it would look like when I was finished. I just knew that I had many things in this life I wanted to do, I wanted to become, I wanted to achieve. If I was going to get it all crammed into one lifetime, I’d better make sure I was as healthy as I had the power to be, trusting God with the rest, and go for it!

I guess it was in 2004 that I sat down with my journal and my pen and wrote it down. I wanted to reduce the amount of carbohydrates in my diet. I wanted to eat more vegetables. I wanted to completely eliminate processed snack foods from my diet. I had already successfully canceled all presence of soda in my diet. Wow. That pretty much ruled out the American diet. I was overwhelmed. Where would I start?

The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step”

I decided I’d find items that I ate on a somewhat regular basis, but not daily, and I would get rid of those first. I tackled the easier foods to sacrifice and then I held this pattern until I felt I had made a lifestyle change. For example, I liked chips just like most people. I didn’t eat them all the time, but I did eat them and I occasionally bought them. I’m not a big salt craver so chips was something I enjoyed, but it wasn’t that hard to let go of. There were other foods I did the same with in this time. I little by little whittled the junk out of my diet and made a healthy substitution. I became familiar with the supplement line from Advocare and incorporated some key products into my nutrition plan. I knew going into this decision that it was going to be a journey that I would not finish overnight. It was going to take time, a lot of time, if I was going to do it right. I really had no idea how long it would take, but I determined that within two years I’d have my diet looking pretty fabulous. At this two year mark is when I would radically look at how I made choices concerning sugar. For me, sugar was the grandaddy. If I could give up sugar it would be nothing short of a miracle. I am pretty sure I was addicted to the stuff. I would get at least one craving for something sweet every day. It was usually ice cream. Ice cream was one of my favorite “cheat” foods. I had a great weakness for it. So, though I wouldn’t always act on my desire for something sweet, I still had the desire emerge and taunt me. I think it’s called temptation?! I figured if I could successfully eliminate sugar from my diet, over time, I would no longer desire it. I was right!

I had always been able to manage my decision to not go out of control with food. I was a fairly disciplined person and I wanted to keep my weight in check. The combination of the small disciplines with food I did have and my love for fitness, I was able to manage my weight fairly reasonably. But it was always work and discipline! Please don’t think I am someone who can just eat whatever she wants and be thin. I have a fairly slow metabolism actually and my body type has a bit of endomorph to it (my body would rather hold onto weight than burn it). I have had people make comments to me over the years that leads me to believe there are people who know me who just think, “That’s just Nicole, she loves fitness and healthy foods.” I’ve had people tell me they were afraid to bring me meals when I had a child because they didn’t know what I would eat (i.e. too healthy). These statements kind of surprised me because I knew my story, but I guess they didn’t.

When I began this journey to truly eat clean (whole foods, no processed foods, lots of veggies, some fruit, complex carbohydrates and the absence of refined carbohydrates), I could not even think of the effort and discipline it would take to quit with sugar. So, at that point I only wrote it on the paper, but didn’t even entertain the idea at that time. It was too big and I knew I wasn’t ready for that. I had to begin smaller with the things I was ready for. This is how it can be with you, whatever your health objective. You don’t necessarily have to quit sugar like I did. I realize many people think I am extreme with this and they cannot wrap their heads around it. I’ve had people take big bites of cake right in my face a parties and say, “Mmmm, this is soooo good.” As though somehow they were tempting me or I was standing there in agony because I wanted a bite. Not so! We have control over our taste buds. You heard me! We can train our taste buds. You get used to whatever it is you eat. Here is a newsflash, when you eat very small amounts of sugar, when you do taste something that has sugar (ie. Even a chocolate chip cookie or cupcake) all you can taste is sugar. I’m not kidding. If I were to take a bite of a cake or cookie, whatever, all I would taste is the sugar as if I scooped a spoonful of refined sugar all by itself into my mouth. Gross! It doesn’t taste good anymore. I can sit at Baskin Robbins and enjoy watching my children enjoy their cone of ice cream and not have one itch to join them. I am past it. It doesn’t mean I don’t still want something sweet now and then, but what I consider sweet has changed altogether. What began as a hunch of what could lie on the other side of a sugar free life, a loss of taste for the stuff, turned out to be pure and true intuition! I also practice wisdom with this knowledge. Because I used to battle a desire for sugar I know that I always have to remain guarded. The freedoms in my health since I quit sugar have been amazing! I feel so good all the time. When I don’t feel good I find it odd because it doesn’t happen very often. I have a mild and even temperament because my blood sugars are balanced. When you eat a lot of sweets and fats, you crave more sweets and fats because you body is in an unbalanced state desperately trying to find what is called stasis…balance! People who struggle with fats and sweets tend to have more mood swings and irritability than someone who eats clean. We truly are what we eat.

I began this health quest in my early teen years. I consciously decided at the age of thirteen that I didn’t want to become like my ancestors who battled obesity, heart disease and  high cholesterol. There aren’t many thirteen year old girls who, not being raised in a health focused environment, make decisions this deep at such a young age. For whatever reason…I did. I spent most of my youth exploring fitness and studying on my own about nutrition. I think I knew every calorie of every food I could dream of consuming. I was vastly interested in nutrition so it didn’t seem like studying or work to me. I had interest. I know that  gave me an advantage. We will always invest time, money and ourselves into something we are interested in.

It’s been eight years since I took the first step and dared to believe I could eat healthier than the average American diet. If I wanted to live more than just a life of mediocrity I had to achieve excellence in all areas.  The greatest factor that enabled me to achieve the goals I set for healthy living was a purpose. Did you catch some hints to my purpose along this story?…

I noticed a deleterious health pattern in my relatives that I didn’t want to repeat. I had many things I wanted to do and become in my life and I recognized that in order to get it done, I needed to be healthy.

Ultimately, my deep faith in God lead me here. I know it was what God wanted for me. I know he helped me along as I failed many, many times. This is the stuff that truest and deepest character is made of…when we fall, we get up and “get back on that horse!” For it is but too true, the only ones who fail are those who quit. Don’t quit, but even more importantly, do not fail to begin. You are valuable and worthy of so much more than an achy body or lack of energy. I hope I have encouraged you in this. If a kid who grew up on Kool Aid can kick sugar, then surely you can achieve that much more! I believe in you…Let your journey begin… Regardless of how many miles it may take or time to overcome, with that first step…

Simply begin.