The True Meaning of Christmas

It's that time of year again! I can't believe that it is almost the end of December! Time flies!

This blog post is going to be a little personal but I wanted to share with everyone what the holidays mean to me and hopefully you can get a little something out of it because there is so much more to the holidays than just presents. I think we all get wrapped up in the season of giving and getting and while that is a very fun and exciting part of it, that is not the true meaning. I am not going to get into the whole Jesus thing because I know that may offend some people. Yes, I am Catholic and do believe that the TRUE meaning of Christmas is the birth of Jesus but I am going to talk a little about the other big picture that many people miss and that is LOVE

When you think of the holidays what comes to mind first? I picture the scene in The Grinch where everyone is running around franticly trying to get all of their presents in time for Christmas. Why are the holidays associated with stress and chaos? I am not going to lie, up until last year, I was that person. I have always loved the holiday season; the lights, the songs, the movies, but I would stress out HARDCORE about getting the right presents, if I spent enough money on the presents, what food I was going to make etc. What happened that made me realize what the true meaning of the Christmas is, you may ask?

Unfortunately, last year we lost the heart and soul of our family right before Christmas. My grandmother passed away suddenly 3 weeks before Christmas. When I tell you that was probably the hardest thing that I have been through so far in my life, I am not joking. She meant the world to me and my entire family. In the beginning of December I received a call from my mom while I was at work informing me that my grandmother had suffered a stroke while she was on her way to Hershey with my Aunt and Uncle. She was immediately rushed to the hospital. That night I drove to Hershey to see her in the hospital. We were informed by the doctors that she could have surgery but she would never be the same. My parents, aunts and uncles needed to make a huge decision, one that would be best for my grandmother. I went in to sit with her while she slept that night and held her hand. I will never forget the grip she had on my hand. She was not awake, but I knew she knew that I was there. To this day, I wish I could go back to that moment. For the next 3 days I drove back and forth from home to Hershey to see her. The hospital had to give our family our own waiting room because at any moment there were about 20 of us there. 

The night of December 4th, my family had decided to take shifts staying with my grandmother since nobody had gotten sleep. I, however, had a gut feeling that I had to stay there all night. Me, my brother, sister-in-law and boyfriend (now fiancé) all decided to stay there all night. We sat in the waiting room while all the members of my family came and went. We colored, talked, reminisced, laughed, cried and bonded. Around 4:00am we decided we were going to go back to the hotel and try to catch some sleep. As we were packing up to leave, we saw my dad walking down the hallway to come get us. I knew that look and that walk. My grandmother had passed away.

I tell you this story, not because it is sad but because this is the moment that I knew what mattered the most in, family and happiness. My grandmother taught me so much about life. She was the most selfless, loving, caring, generous person I have ever known. I have an amazing guardian angel looking down on me every day. With all of this tragedy happening right before Christmas, I thought that it was going to be the worst Christmas ever, but it wasn't. I was surrounded by the love and comfort of my family. I have never felt as much love as I did last Christmas. For the first time I realized what Christmas is all about. It is not about gift giving or food. It is about love, family and happiness. 

This Christmas, try not to focus on the presents or the cooking. Those are all great but you will forget about those things next year. What do you want to remember for years to come? For me, it is the feeling that I had last year. Yes, I suffered a great loss but with that came a family bond that I will never forget. This year I am making sure to focus on family, love and happiness. I thank God every day that I am blessed with a truly amazing and loving fiancé, a family that would do anything for me, a crazy dog, a roof over my head, food to eat, and my health. What are you thankful for? Because these are the important things in life and the things to be grateful for over the holidays. 

Have a very special and memorable Christmas! 


Lisa Catherine


This blog is dedicated to my grandmother, the best grandmother and guardian angel I could ever ask for! I love and miss you so much. Merry Christmas!

Benefits of Working with a Health Coach

Personal trainers, doctors, dietitians, CrossFit, trendy diets and fads, it’s difficult to know which course you should pursue to achieve your fitness and weight-loss goals. Have you ever scrolled through your Facebook feed and seen your friends boast or promote one diet or exercise over another? It can be overwhelming and contradicting.

While many of the aforementioned avenues offer many health-related benefits, only one professional can provide a well-rounded, customized plan that will cater to your needs, abilities, and goals. This professional is the Certified Holistic Health Coach. Yes, folks, that is what I am and I am proud of it! 

Obesity is one of the largest health concerns in the United States with 67% of the county’s population who are overweight or obese. That’s a staggering number that has led to 1 in 3 Americans who will develop Type 2 Diabetes or cancer. We all possess the ability to fight this growing problem with our own lifestyle choices. However, too many people are uneducated when it comes to healthy living. Many adopt the mindset that it’s too difficult to stay healthy or that healthy foods and gym memberships are too expensive. If you have had this thought, think about the bigger picture. Would you rather spend a little more money now to educate yourself on health and wellness and get in shape? OR would you rather spend that money on health bills down the line? Your call but I would go with the first option. 

So here are a few reasons why a health coach is beneficial:

1. Health Coaches Have Well-Rounded Knowledge

Have you ever found yourself frustrated by not getting the direct answers you’re hoping for? Your doctor already has a lot of his or her plate, so when you ask what you should do to be healthier, you may be faced with the broad, generalized answer, “Diet and exercise.”

That’s all well and good, but you most likely want specifics. Which foods will best help you attain your ideal weight? Which diets are proven and which are fads? How can you know?

Sure, there may be a diet or exercise program your doctor recommends, but the truth is it’s not their field of expertise. And it most likely is not the best program or diet for your unique case.

Health Coaches not only customize a diet plan catered to your goals and health concerns, but they encourage small changes to attain a healthy lifestyle. You’ll be able to find a plan that is made just for you. Based on your body type, your past experiences with weight loss and exercise, your Health Coach will get to know you inside and out in order to find the best plan for you.

2. Health Coaches Tailor Plans According to Your Needs

There are hundreds of diets and exercise plans out there; no doubt you’ve seen them.

Overwhelming, right?

Many other health professionals will recommend one and then expect you to follow that plan as outlined. The truth is that not one diet is meant to work for every individual. How many times have you attempted a diet or exercise regimen only to find minimal results? As a result, you’ve most likely felt disheartened and discouraged. Understand that we all have different needs, obstacles, and health concerns. The key to achieving your goals is to follow a plan that is catered to you.

Your Health Coach will take the time to get to know you, your habits, your current diet, your health and wellness goals, what history you have with previous diets and exercises, and then they will work with you to outline a plan designed to help you reach your goals. Sarah Haskins continues:

“We help you implement small changes, little by little, at a pace that’s comfortable for you so you can meet all your health goals. We work with you to help you discover your bio-individuality. There is something that will work for you -- the trick is finding it.”

3. A Health Coach Is Your Friend

How comforting is it to know that your Health Coach will be your colleague and not just someone who will crack a whip? Health Coaches are not drill sergeants; we are supportive mentors and to lead by example.

 A Health Coach will inspire and motivate you to achieve the goals you have established together. You’ll have a friend and confidant throughout your journey.

4. Emotional Support And More

Perhaps you’ve wanted more than just information on healthy eating. Fortunately, Health Coaches place a strong emphasis on improving your overall wellness. This means that you that you’ll receive so much more than physical health tips. As reported by Yahoo Beauty:

“Health Coaches look at exercise, eating, wellness, and food not just as calories and weight loss, but also on emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual terms. An Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who’s providing services in this area knows about various aspects of his or her clients’ lives like state of mind, health history background, as well as sleep patterns.”

The ultimate goal of your Health Coach is to improve your quality of life through effective and healthy habits and changes. In order to accomplish this, there must be a strong focus on the overall health of the individual. It could be that the reason previous diets or routines were ineffective was due to emotional or mental stressors. Your Health Coach will dig deep to discover why previous attempts have failed, which will indicate the paths that should work in your individual case.

With a Health Coach, you can rest assured that you’re receiving so much more than just informative guidance; you’ll be receiving a friend and mentor.

Other Benefits To A Healthy Lifestyle

We’ve established the benefits of seeking out a Health Coach, but why should you want to improve your health beyond the obvious reasons? Some people simply accept the mindset, “Well, I gotta die of something, right?” This response may get the occasional chuckle, but there are more benefits to being healthy than a prolonged life.

Save On Medical Bills

○ healthy lifestyle means less visits to the doctor. If you are overweight or obese, then you are subject to other diseases that can increase your medical expenses rather quickly. Contrastly, if you engage in a healthy lifestyle, you’ll have a better chance warding off harmful diseases.

Increased Energy

○     Sure, you can experience a sugar rush from candy and desserts, but you’ve surely felt the energy crash that inevitably follows. Saturated fats tend to drain your energy levels, and if your diet consists of many sugars and saturated fats, then not only will you experience significant weight gain, but your energy will slowly decrease. When you base your diet and lifestyle on healthy choices, you’ll experience more energy and vitality than ever before. More energy for quality time with family and friends.

Less Stress

○     It’s no secret that regular exercise can be therapeutic and reduce stress, but healthy foods (such as foods high in Vitamin C and Magnesium) can help moderate your cortisol levels, which is the stress hormone. When you’re stressed or in a chronic state, your body quickly breaks down protein. If you have sufficient protein in your diet you can help the body maintain those cortisol levels as well.

Improved Self-Confidence

○     When you change your habits and lifestyle to become more health-oriented, your own self-worth increases, especially as you see results in your physical appearance. It’s easy to be hard on yourself when you constantly feel tired or out of shape. Start today on your path to a healthy lifestyle and watch your self-confidence grow as a result.


So there you are, some of the many reasons why Health Coaches are very beneficial. We are here to help those people that feel lost and just don't know where to start with their health all the way to those that just need a little nudge in the right direction or motivational support. Whatever your reason is, it doesn't hurt to reach out to a health coach for an initial free health consultation to discuss your health goals. Its almost 2017, start it off right by making a resolution to take control of your health not only for yourself but for your loved ones as well. 


Happy Holidays!


Lisa Catherine