All posts by jmlunnen

2/3 of the way through…

So yeah, I’ve made it REALLY FREAKING FAR in the Whole30. I would be lying if I said I enjoy it or that it’s easy. BUT IT COULD BE REALLY REALLY WORHT IT FOR YOU! My biggest issue with the program…I FREAKING HATE MEAT and this has only increased my distaste for meat! I can’t even choke down red meat or fish, so I’m really tired of poultry. There really are only so many things you can do with boneless, skinless chicken breast (The only kind I can tolerate, eating meat off a bone is just not something that interests me). I firmly believe meat is a big part of a healthy, balanced diet…but it’s not what I crave or what makes me feel satisfied. BUT I’m still here!!!!

What do I think?
I think the people in my support group who have auto-immune diseases and food allergies/intolerances are getting SERIOUSLY IMPRESSIVE results. Weight loss, improved mood, improved digestion, decreases symptoms, improved bloodwork..I could go on and on.

How do I feel?
Honestly, tired. This program is not for EVERY body. EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BODY is DIFFERENT! I’m not giving in because I am not someone who backs down or quits and I’m doing this to support the people I care about who are getting incredible results. I didn’t have any reason to believe I had any trouble digesting any of the food groups I’ve given up for the Whole30. I aready cut out white grains, processed foods, and most sugars years ago, and those are the foods that were making me fat and miserable. I already ate a very healthy diet coming into this. I train HARD! Like…really really hard! My body uses healthy grains to the max and my body misses it. My workouts have suffered quite a bit. I’m still pushing play and putting one foot in front of the other…but I feel the difference. My weights have decreases..but they’ll increase rapidly when I add back in the foods that are healthy FOR MY BODY that I’ve been missing. I’m REALLY proud of the will power and discipline I’ve shown thus far! I’m learning how much I’m capable of!

Do I expect results?
Well…I was hoping for improved energ because although I was already high energy…who doesn’t want MORE? Right?!!!! I have maintained roughly my goal weight for 8 years, so weight loss wasn’t my goal here. It was an experiment, motivation to people who I believed DID need it for THEIR bodies, and curiosity. I also had let sugar get a little out of control and needed a strict plan to GET RID OF THE CRAP! Do you know what sugar does to your body and mind? YUCK! But I’m truly addicted to it! Why else would I continually poison myself with it?

What now?
Well…with 7 days left I am CRACKING DOWN. There are RULES and I’ve followed them all to a T (with the exception of Shakeology. I can list a hundred reasons why spending a month without that would have been a horrible decisions for my health). BUT I did not follow ALL the reccommendations. In the last 7 days, I’m pushing hard to tackle those. Raisins have gone OUT THE WINDOW! Goodbye! Fruits are much more limited. I’m getting more vegetables than any normal American farm can provide! I’m still choking down eggs and chicken and turkey and the occasional tuna (yuck!). I really just CAN’T with any other meat! I’m usually a firm believer in not wasting calories on foods you HATE.

What about me???? Like I said, this is an experiment to learn about YOUR OWN body. EVERY person is different. Literally NO TWO PEOPLE are the same, not even identical twins. Amazing right?! I know! I thnk it would do almost everyone some good to TRY IT! I’m excited for the reintegration phase to explore my ideas about all of this and MY body. There are SO MANY recipes to keep things fresh. If you like a lot of different meats, fish, and veggies you will LOVE this.

In summary,, I’m still looking forward to SOME various results and I will share in 17 days when I’m finished up with the elimination and reintegration phases. I’m glad I decided to do this and yes, I think you should too! I mean…you guys…I have a girl who lost 16 pounds in my group within like 2 weeks and she wasn’t very overweight! This is LEGIT for some people and even if you don’t lose 16 pounds, you will learn about your body…knowledge is power!

You better believe I’m counting down the days till dairy and peanut butter return to my life.

What are your questions? I’d love to chat more!


Whole30…what am I doing???

Hi! Happy Thursday! So…here’s something, I’m on day 11 of The Whole30! I KNOW! Pick your jaw up off the floor and let’s talk about it.

  • What is the Whole30?
    Whole30 is basically an elimination diet, a nutritional experiment if you will. For 30 days you cut certain food groups COMPLETELY that are common irritants to people with autoimmune disease, digestive issues, sensativities, intolerances, allergies, and more. It’s 30 days of strict elimination followed by 10 days of careful reintegration and paying close attention to how your body responds. It’s a learning tool. The idea is that if done correctly, at the end of 40 days you will have very powerful knowledge about how your body tolerates certain foods.
  • Have I been suffering from these things?
    I don’t think so. I seem to have an iron stomach, not much upsets me. I do get a little yucky feeling these days when I consume ANY processed white grains (think white pasta, white bread, white tortilla, pizza crust, etc.) or when I eat too much sugar, but I’m very glad I feel that way because I don’t need that garbage in my body anyway. I can make whatever I want at home with healthy whole grains and I have my go-to restaurants that are enlightened and part of the 21st century that offer healthier options.
  • What is eliminated?
    Well, this is a very paleo friendly program. SO NOT ME, y’all know I am a borderline vegetarian, I hate the taste and texture of most meat. I LIVE FOR DAIRY! And peanut butter is from heaven! I can’t have anything I love except fruit!
    -No dairy
    -No legumes (peanuts are a legume, not a nut!)
    -No sugar
    -No alcohol
    -No grains
    -Did I mention NO DAIRY?
  • Why am I doing this?
    Well, there are several reasons. Topping the list is the fact that I’ve researched it for over a year now and have been recommending it to all my clients and friends whit autoimmune disorders, anxiety, depression, and a host of other symptoms they want gone. I believe it’s a great place to start if not finish! I’ve never been one to expect another person to do anything I have not or would not do, so it was time to suck it up and put myself through the misery I’ve been suggesting to others just so I can help them through it when they’re ready. While I felt fantastic before I started, I am hoping to reap some of the benefits many people see completing this program. Here are just a few;
    -Clearer, glowing skin
    -Healthier hair and nails
    -Flatter stomach
    -Looking younger
    -Weight loss (I’m no longer chasing this one, but thought I’d throw it in here to entice all of you…along with improved symptoms of medical conditions)
    -Healthier gums
    -More regular cycle for women
    -Less seasonal allergies
    -Improved circulation
    -Happier mood
    -More relaxed
    -Better able to handle stress
    -Improved attention span
    -Improved mental and physical performance
    -Better sleep
    -Higher energy levels (I’ve already made myself into an energy machine, but who doesn’t want more right?!!!)
    -Faster workout recovery time
    -Healthier relationship with food
    -Break the sugar habit
    -Gain nutritional knowledge
    These are just to name a few, it’s all outlined in the book, The Whole30.
  • How’s it going?
    I’m not going to lie. It’s HARD for me. I’m supposed to eat meat…eh, fish…NOPE NEVER YUCK, eggs…UGH, vegetables…I suppose, and fruit YUM! I can also have nuts but boy do you have to be careful! Did you know any old bag of nuts at the grocery store contains peanut oil or soybean oil?!!! So you have to find RAW nuts. And that’s about it! Oh and I can have potatoes, but no butter, no cheese, none of what makes them so yummy! And I’m not going to be one of those people who tell you almond butter tastes like peanut butter…LIES!!!! But I am on day 11 and if you know me, you know I will make it to the end! I do not quit.
  • Is Shakeology Whole30 compliant?
    Well, technically no, but for some silly reasons (especially if you don’t think you have any digestive/autoimmune issues). Shakeology, the vegan formula, contains pea protein, and rice protein along with pure stevia leaf. All totally great nutrition…but not technically allowed during the whole 30. That being said, I am making that ONE exception to the rule. Other people have to make exceptions for medications and so on. I thought it through, talked with several other Health & Fitness Coaches, and Whole30 Alumns and came to this decision. I could not justify giving up something even for a month that has done SO MUCH GOOD for my health! Shakeology has changed my life and I will NEVER be able to come close to that level of nutrition without getting it from Shakeology, so I’m having vegan chocolate (limiting myself to one a day instead of my frequent two per day), and mixing it with water and almond milk instead of my lovely skim milk that I miss every second of every day right now. It’s also the only food I look forward to at the moment since I’m so far from Paleo friendly!

    So, long story short. I’m doing this. I’m miserable and excited all at the same time and can’t wait to start the trial and error of reintegrating foods after 30 days. I will give an update soon and again at the end! I’m sure this is much easier for carnivores, but I’m so far from that!

    Have you done The Whole30? Have you considered it? Please comment with questions, I’d love to hear your thoughts and see if I can shed some light on your questions!


Worthy Wednesday!

Calm down. Before you grab a pitchfork hear me out. I’m not saying American boarders should be wide open to everyone. I’m saying our minds should be!

Imagine for me, you go to the grocery store and everyone stares at you. Everywhere you look, there is no one dressed like you. No one with skin that looks like yours. People seem afraid of you. They fear the same people you fear, but you know they are wondering if you are what they are afraid of! The same people you feared SO MUCH that you left everything you’ve ever known and set out for a new humble beginning somewhere else with very little resources. The same people you fled from for your life and the life of your children. Imagine you can’t even speak the language everyone else speaks where you’re to make your new beginning. You’re surrounded by an entirely different culture. You’re beyond thankful to be “safe” and alive, but you are facing a whole new host of problems, dilemmas, and concerns. You’re one of the “lucky ones” who got the chance to be resettled. In a new culture, on your own to navigate a new world. A world full of different dangers. Imagine you can NEVER go home. This is your home now and there is no turning back.
There are refugees in many parts of America, and they need your help. There are so many ways you can help and volunteer. They need people to help them learn some basic English, navigate transportation, get bus passes, and just navigate our culture. What better way to get to know your neighbors than to GET TO KNOW THEM!

I’m not saying I don’t understand fear. I’m not saying we should not know who is in this country. Heck, I think it’s pretty clear that we aren’t doing the best job of keeping track of high risk individuals who are born here. I’m saying I don’t believe most refugees are a risk. I’m saying if there is a settlement near you, broadening your horizons is usually a good thing.

There are endless opportunities to help, check out some sources below:

For those near the Pittsburgh area:


It’s been a while, and it’s not Wednesday, but you know what…if there were ever a need for people to learn about WORTHY CAUSES, to learn how to MAKE A DIFFERENCE it’s now! I’m going to start with Compassion International, if that’s not a cause you can get behind…there is something wrong, but Wednesday I am going to share an organization that will probably scare/piss off some people, and I don’t care…then don’t continue reading that one! THIS ONE IS FOR EVERYONE! I may have already covered Compassion but I feel VERY STRONGLY about it, so too bad. The average person needs to hear something at least 7 times before they do anything with that information!

Imagine you wake up every day without electricity. Perhaps you’ve NEVER had electricity in your entire life. We take the flick of a switch, our refrigerator, the flush of a toilet for granted countless times each day. Imagine you don’t have access to clean drinking water. You boil your water before you drink it, or you drink in fear. Imagine you have no breakfast, no lunch, no dinner! We are GLUTTONS in America! Imagine you have no chance for education. Imagine you are surrounded by disease and death, and healthcare is just not something you are fortunate enough to have access to. Imagine child slavery, abuse, and worse. NOW, IMAGINE BEING THE PERSON WHO HAS THE POWER TO CHANGE THAT REALITY!

Compassion International! Compassion is a wonderful organization that provides basic needs to children in poverty. The organization is WORLDWIDE! It pairs ministry with providing other basic necessities to releases children from spiritual, economic, social, and physical poverty. The goal is for each child to become a responsible and fulfilled adult.

Compassion International started in 1952 with 32 orphaned children in South Korea and an American evangelist Rev. Everett Swanson, wanting to help. It has grown into a well respected organization helping countless children worldwide. I love this statement from their website, “Compassion is global, reflecting the beautiful diversity of God’s kingdom.”
To learn more about how you can donate or get involved please visit:

Transformation Tuesday…Taco Tuesday Edition

Hi. Happy Tuesday. I’m more than ashamed to admit that before getting my nutrition in check, you know…back when I was 35 pounds heavier and a soldier unable to meet the Army standards, Taco Tuesday used to mean Taco Bell. I know, even my least healthy of friends and co-workers would ridicule me and tell me that wasn’t real meat (ironically as they headed for McDonald’s as if we’re sure that’s grass fed beef???). The funny thing is…they were right! I wasn’t a fan of meat so the brown mystery product didn’t bother me then. Once I started to take control of my health and learn about nutrition, I realized just how scary a mystery product can be! I’m a day late for Halloween here…but IT’S SCARY!

Did you ever go there and hope that your food didn’t look like this???

Yeah, me too! I don’t think cheese is supposed to look that way either. And why should I pay extra for tomato?

The good news, I now make my own tacos on Tuesdays and I control what goes in them. I know for a fact that I’m using organic, vegetarian fed,  free range turkey, I know what’s in the ancient grains tortilla I use, and it’s not some sort of strange flour tortilla. I can add my own healthy flair with avocado oil and chia seeds. I can serve it with REAL cheese, and whatever veggies I choose! The great thing is…it ends up being cheaper than what I used to spend at Taco Bell (or as my McDonald’s loving health nut friends used to call it, Toxic Hell, Taco Hell, Toilet Bell…I could go on and on). Here is what my delicious, well balanced Taco Tuesday looks like now. I often even use spinach instead of lettuce, but tonight I didn’t because I already had a good bit of spinach today.


If you ask me, mine actually looks like REAL FOOD and theirs…well, not so much! I’m so proud of the fact that I’ve come so far that you actually would have to pay me quite a bit to go eat the types of things I used to eat. The thought of it upsets my stomach and when I drive by it’s not even the least bit tempting. I’ve even driven by STARVING before in search of a GNC so I can pick up a Kind Bar or Quest Bar (yes, healthy bars are more REAL than fast food), a store where I could get some water and nuts, or a Panera Bread where I could get something that at least resembles real food.


Why Do I Run???

Hi! It’s been a while. I’m sorry, we’ve been pretty busy around here! I was having an amazing conversation this evening with an amazing corporate mentor about my goals..and as so often happens when I’m anywhere near, the conversation turned to running! He noticed my face light up and commented. That has had me thinking a lot about my passion for running throughout the rest of the evening. Let’s talk about that. Why do I run?



If you’ve read some of my previous blog posts, you’ll know that I did not always like running, in fact, I hated it. I was not always good at it. I was once a soldier who could not pass the PT test and was overweight by the Army standard. It was not a fun point in my life. I doubted my military career. I doubted myself. I doubted my own decision making abilities. Then Thank God I made a friend…a running friend. I thought when he asked me to run with him, why the heck not, I need to run more if I’m ever going to pass my PT test. I started out hoping to get faster and lose weight. I lost a little bit of weight, but not enough to make a difference to Uncle Sam. At first, I didn’t love it. It was hard, I was out of shape and out of breath! BUT I NEVER GAVE UP! I trailed behind Adam wanting so badly to say “I can’t” they words were on the TIP OF MY TONGUE but you know….I could NEVER get them out. I just kept chugging along behind him! After a short time I got much faster. I was no track star, YET but I was doing a lot better. I even started to enjoy it a little bit.

Then that same friend, Adam gave me a copy of P90X. I thought he was crazy. I couldn’t even get through the warm up. BUT just like running…I kept trying my best. Bit by bit, I got STRONGER. I got FASTER. I got SMALLER! Thirty-five pounds smaller to be exact. I was running and LOVING it. I was no longer failing my PT tests, but MAXING them. I was confident, comfortable in my own skin, glowing! Or at least I felt like it!

I kept running. I no longer needed to lose weight, in fact, at one point I’d gone maybe a tiny bit too far for my comfort. It had long since quit being about weight. I had fallen in love! I MEAN HEAD OVER HEELS. It’s been 8 years and there is NO TURNING BACK! I’m PRETTY FAST now. I am strong, I have endurance to run fairly long distances. I run hills, flats, trails, tracks, roads. I run in the summer, the fall, the winter, the spring. I run in sun, rain, wind, snow. I don’t care! If I can make the time, I’m running!

So why do I run??? BECAUSE I CAN! It makes me feel literally like a bird. Like I’m flying. Like I’m FREE! Free from all the chaos, all the hurt, all the anger, all the stress, free from all the daily grind. It’s just plain FUN! It’s my therapy, my escape, my “me-time.” It’s something I do to put a smile on my face. I can’t describe the feeling but from the very first foot in front of the other at a quick pace, I feel ALIVE! Call it passion, call it runners high, call it crazy. I don’t care! I call it LIVING!

Why do you run? If you’re not a runner and you’re capable…why don’t you run???

Worthy Wednesday!

Hey boys and girls! It’s Wednesday (At least I think it is), you know what that means. Time to highlight an organization or cause that I feel passionate about and is making a great difference in the world.

Today I want to talk about something taboo, something a lot of society would rather sweep under the rug than face head on. Sexual abuse! Why is this topic on the forefront of my mind right now? Because I have a lot of friends who are Younique representatives and they just got back from their big yearly conference (sorry, I don’t remember what it’s called…I’m not a rep) where they learned that they are partnering with Defend Innocence on a special promotion. So if you are looking for some make up this month…get in touch with a Younique representative! I, of course, am a Health & Fitness Coach partnered with Team Beachbody, who has partnered with International Justice Mission.

Did you know that statistically 1 in 4-5 women have been or will be a victim of sexual assault in their lifetime? That’s a conservative number because so many of these crimes go unreported. Did you know the number for men again, based on statistics and hard to pinpoint, is also very high? This is mind blowing!!! How are there THAT MANY CREEPS in this world? How do THAT MANY people not value human life? What the hell is wrong with us as a society??? Why aren’t we teaching our kids to BE BETTER? That’s easy for me to say, as someone who does not have children…I’m not saying everyone is dropping the ball…but WAY TOO MANY people are!

What can you do to help? There are a lot of great organizations that help children and adults who have been victims of a crime sexual in nature. IJM focuses on justice for the poor. Often times, it’s those in the most desperate of situations who are preyed upon. And while IJM does not focus SPECIFICALLY on sexual crimes, but on violence in general, often these crimes are sexual. Sex trafficking being pretty high up on the list! Defend Innocence lists their mission statement as follows;

We educate parents and empower them to protect their children from sexual abuse while leading a public dialogue to bring the epidemic of abuse to light.” 

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network(RAINN) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. Founded in 1994, they have already helped over 2.3 MILLION people.

These are just a FEW of many organizations that are helping prevent the spread of sexual violence and helping victims cope and take back control. There are SO MANY wonderful organizations out there both local and national. I urge you to educate yourself on at least one!

Here is a short list of just a few, again…there are MANY. If you know of a fantastic organization I should highlight, please comment with info or find me on and message me!

Where to visit:
RAINN sexual assault hotline: 800-656-HOPE