Free Fitness Coach…Oh yeah. Moms…Get Ready.

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Starting Monday August 17!!

Single Moms…It’s time. It’s time to put the baby down, slide in a workout DVD and make it happen…..It’s time to put away the animal crackers and cut up an apple…smile emoticon


In this week long group, I will give you advise, tips and suggestions for carving out that time for yourself. I will give you easy recipes for healthy eating. I’ll will give you ideas for squeezing in those extra minutes just for you.

I’ll help you SET and REACH attainable goals. Wherever you are NOW, that is your starting point. No looking back, no wishing things were different…Just one day at a time!

I’ll support you and encourage you on your quest for a better and better YOU!

If this is something you want to do with me, comment below “I’m IN”!

—–>>SHARE AND TAG YOUR FRIENDS – the more the merrier

Who’s IN WITH ME?!?! Let’s DO THIS!!!!!!


√ If you already have a Beachbody health coach you’re working with, please get in touch with them for support. this is for my customers and/or NEW customers only

Bring a friend in with you to PAY IT FORWARD and get a free sample pack of the all time fitness shake!!! This group is going to GIVE YOU THE SUPPORT YOU NEED so let’s see how we can begin to chip away at those reasons one by one!!!!!

CLICK HERE TO JOIN US!!!!! and then message me so I can send you the details!

Setting Small Fitness Goals for BIG Change!! : A Facebook Challenge Group for You!


On Monday, August 3, I am starting a FITNESS and WELLNESS Goal Setting Group on my Single Mom on the Run Facebook page!!

I would like to invite all of you aspiring to healthier living to join me in a month of setting goals and achieving them. The group is called:

Setting Small Fitness Goals for BIG Change!!

Here’s what it is about:

I am the queen of lofty goals and no follow through when it comes to fitness and diet! This last week, however, I decided to set one small goal and to see it through to the end. I’m 5 days in and going strong! This group is for those of you out there that want to make changes in your diet, your health, your overall well being but may feel overwhelmed or at a loss for where to start.

Let me help you set some small goals and let the group help keep you accountable and motivated.

REQUIREMENT: To be the in group, you will sign up for your FREE COACH through Beachbody (that’s me)…And no, you don’t have to buy anything!

SHARE AND TAG YOUR FRIENDS – the more the merrier…Oh and guess, what else…The three top participators and supporters in the group, will get a very special prize from me..Hint: It’s tasty and nutritious!

I am here to help you set some goals and reach them!

Your goal may be to do 10 sit ups a day or to drink one big glass of water a day. It may be to do a walk/run for 15 minutes…Whatever it is I can help you set goals that are doable and that you CAN achieve.

Join me for four weeks of fitness and wellness fun…This group will run through the end of August.

You can do it! Just visit my FB page and say, “Yes! I want to set some wellness goals!”🙂

Beachbody 21 Day Fix Nutrition Tips: Eating Right, Saving Time!


As a busy Mom of a 6 year old I do not have time to cut zucchini’s into stars! However, what I have learned is that I can eat healthier with a few easy steps. My daughter loves red pepper so I buy a few and cut them up and put them into little containers that I can grab and throw into her lunch box.

My diet is based on the 21 Day Fix by Beachbody. If you follow the nutritional guidelines (they tell you how much to eat a day of the various food groups – not rocket science) and you follow the exercise program, you will lose weight and firm up. I’ve seen many women go through amazing transformations using the 21 Day fix.

For me, I started buying tomatoes, cucumbers and red pepper and cutting them up and putting them in my designated salad box. Quick, easy, no cooking, no fuss! Fresh and healthy. I prepare my salad box the night before and take it with me wherever I’m…NIce!

Well, this busy Mom has got to get going. I hope you have a great day and that you make the changes you are looking to make. If you need any help with this process, let me know. I’d be happy to help!

Shakeology: Does it really work?

shakeo banana

Okay, so the real truth is that a lot of women are looking for ways to lose weight and there’s so much information out there and no one knows what the heck to believe. A friend of mine sells Doterra essential oils so I bought the “Slim and Sassy!” Who doesn’t want to be slim and sassy!? I know I do….

In any case, I started doing the 21 day Fix with Beachbody about a year ago but resisted the Shakeology part of it because, quite honestly, I just found it too expensive.

In any case, I just recently became a Beachbody coach. Why? To hold myself more accountable. To get with the program. To finally get in shape. So, I’m going to start using the Shakeology more regularly. It’s actually pretty tasty and it comes in a whole bunch of flavors and when mixed with a frozen banana it’s pretty good!

So, I was just poking around on the BB website and I came across the results of this survey…See for yourself…


SURVEY SAYS: “Shakeology really works!”

You may have heard the buzz around how Shakeology helps transform people’s health. Well if you’re wondering if the hype is true, it is. We even put it to the test! A BIG test.

Here’s proof from nearly 3,000 daily Shakeology drinkers: 93% feel healthier since drinking it.* 86% report increased energy levels.*

81% feel it helped reduce their cravings for junk food.*
91% say it helped improve their regularity.**
81% say Shakeology kept them full until their next meal.*
72% say Shakeology helped them lose weight.* 82% report improved digestion.† 77% feel more alert and focused throughout their day.*
74% notice an improvement in their mood.*
65% cut back on the amount of caffeinated beverages they consumed daily.*
66% notice their skin/hair/nails looked healthier.*
91% agree that Shakeology tastes great!* 92% believe Shakeology is money well spent.*
97% believe it’s a smart investment in their health.* Shakeology is Your Daily Dose of Dense Nutrition™ and simply the most delicious, nutrient-rich, superfood-packed protein shake on the planet. Drink it daily—order yours today!
*Based on a survey of 2,769 Shakeology users who drank Shakeology 5 or more times per week and exercised 3 times per week.
**Based on a survey of 1,158 Shakeology users with regularity concerns who drank Shakeology 5 or more times per week and exercised 3 times per week.
†Based on a survey of 874 Shakeology users with digestion concerns who drank Shakeology 5 or more times per week and exercised 3 times per week.”

If you want to know more about BeachBody feel free to email me or to check it out on your own (you can get a coach for free even if you don’t order anything.) I for one am going to start drinking it daily as an experiment…I’ll let you know what I experience and if I see a difference in energy, weight or what have you!

This is the kind that came with my 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack…(which came with the workout DVDs, the meal plan and a one month’s supply of Shakeology.)


Resilience in Transitioning (Divorcing/Separating) Families: An Upcoming Webinar

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Here is another training I will be attending! As a PC/PTE, a parenting assessor/evaluator, and a therapist of families who are divorced or living separately, it is important to stay abreast of the research on resilience. Resilience research shows us what strengths are most important in helping individuals overcome adversity and stress. In this case, it will tell us about which qualities to look for in families who successfully navigate difficulties such as divorce. It will be looking closely at what factors play the greatest role in overcoming the stress or impact of divorce on the family system and the children.

(If you would like to continue to get updates from my blog, please sign up for notifications by email on the home page.)


Building Resilience in Transitioning Families

Do you provide education or services to families who have experienced a family transition like divorce or separation? Do you need more information to understand the role that resilience can play in families’ family transition journeys? If so, then the Building Resilience in Transitioning Families Webinar is for you!

Resiliency can be defined as “the capacity of a family to withstand and recover from significant challenges that threaten its stability, viability, or development.” Kjersti Olson and Sharon Powell, University of Minnesota Extension Educators in Family Resilience, with provide an overview about resilience in transitioning families in this short webinar. In this webinar, you will:

  • Get an overview about resiliency research and recent developments.
  • Examine the role protective factors play with regards to resiliency.
  • Work together to generate ideas for how professionals can assist families in identifying and strengthening their own family protective factors.

This webinar is being offered live on November 11, 2014, from 12-1 p.m. This webinar will be recorded and will also be available afterwards on this site.

It costs $10 to attend; authorized providers of Parents Forever™ can attend for free by contacting Kate Welshons.

A certificate of completion is available after completion.

Nature and Movement for Kids: A Repost


About the Author

Angela Hanscom is a pediatric occupational therapist and the founder of TimberNook, which focuses on nature-centered developmental programming in New England. Angela holds a master’s degree in occupational therapy and an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology (the study of movement) with a concentration in health fitness. She specializes in vestibular (balance) treatment and sensory integration. She is also the author of the upcoming nonfiction book, Balanced & Barefoot, which discusses the effects of restricted movement and lack of outdoor playtime on overall sensory development in children.


NATURE IS THE ULTIMATE SENSORY EXPERIENCE: A Pediatric Occupational Therapist Makes the Case for Nature Therapy

When I tell people I’m a pediatric occupational therapist and that I run nature programming, a look of confusion often crosses their face. “Huh?” they say. Or, “You’re a special needs camp?” Or, “I don’t get it. You’re going to do occupational therapy with our children?

From the beginning, I quickly realized that the concept of TimberNook is “out-of-the-box” thinking for many people. Some don’t get it at first. The concept is totally foreign to them. Typically, when people think of occupational therapy, they automatically think of children with special needs. I’ve used my skills as an occupational therapist in an unconventional manner. I view nature as the ultimate sensory experience for all children and a necessary form of prevention for sensory dysfunction.

TimberNook-TimberNook-0049What most people don’t realize is that pediatric occupational therapists are in a unique position to do something about a very real problem.

More and more children are presenting with sensory issues these days. They are not moving like they did in years past. It is rare to find children rolling down hills, spinning in circles just for fun, or climbing trees at great heights. In fact, our society often discourages this type of play due to liability issues and fear of falls.

The more we restrict children’s movement and separate children from nature, the more sensory disorganization we see. In fact, according to many teachers, children are frequently falling out of their seats in school, running into walls, tripping over their own feet, and unable to pay attention. School administrators are complaining that kids are getting more aggressive on the playgrounds and “can’t seem to keep their hands off each other” during recess. Teachers are looking for answers.

Pediatric occupational therapists can help. We have the neurological background to explain why restricted movement causes behavior problems in children; why fidgeting is becoming more prevalent than ever before; and the underlying reasons why kids are hitting with more force during a game of tag.

Pediatric occupational therapists can also use their unique understanding of child development to educate others on the therapeutic qualities of nature. For instance, they can explain how listening to bird sounds in nature helps to improve children’s spatial awareness, why spinning in circles establishes a strong balance system, and walking barefoot integrates reflexes that prevent further complications such as toe-walking.

Traditionally, pediatric occupational therapists are found inside schools or indoor clinics. We’ve ventured out to start using animals and gardening for therapy in more recent years. However, I have to wonder…what if more occupational therapists started venturing out even further? What if they used giant mud puddles to get children to explore their senses more fully? What if they went deep into the woods to inspire children to think openly and creatively, while building forts and dens of their own design? What would occupational therapy look like then?

I believe occupational therapists have great potential to use the sensory benefits of play outdoors to help children integrate their senses in the most natural of ways.

Using the Outdoors for Occupational Therapy

Here are some wonderful ways therapists and others can step back and start to see play outdoors as therapeutic in design:

  1. Climbing trees. In a clinic setting, we traditionally have kids use a plastic climbing wall to work on full-body strengthening and coordination. What if we started letting kids climb trees outside for therapy? This is a little more challenging since trees are not color-coded. Children will need to use their problem-solving skills in order to scale the tree, testing branches as they go to make sure they are safe and sturdy. They would learn safety skills and the tree offers a nice tactile and natural touch experience as they hold onto the tree limbs during the climb.
  2. Playing in a mud puddle. Occupational therapists often let children play in sensory bins that are filled with colorful rice, beans, and sand. In order to fully maximize a child’s sensory experience and to make it even TimberNook-TimberNook-0055more meaningful, what if we allowed children to play in mud puddles during treatment sessions? Our mud puddles here at TimberNook headquarters are so huge that they also have real frogs and frog eggs in them. The kids have to maneuver through the mud, using their balance, visual scanning skills, and engaging their tactile (touch) senses as they search for a frog.
  3. Walking barefoot on a log. In the clinic, we often have children go barefoot on plastic balance beams, which have been engineered to be “sensory” with little plastic bumps. If we take children outside, we could let them go barefoot on fallen trees, enhancing their sensory experience on a multitude of different levels. Not only would they be experiencing different textures, but they would feel the sensations of moist versus dry, crunchy versus soft, noisy versus quiet, and changes in temperature.
  4. Hooking up therapy swings outdoors.Therapists are SO lucky when it comes to swings! We have just about every type of swing imaginable–all for a different purpose. If we brought them outdoors, we would only add to the sensory experience for children. Now they are exposed to bird sounds, the wind on their face, and  the shadows playing across the ground as they are swinging. By taking swings outside, we engage all of their senses — not just the vestibular (balance) sense.
  5. Building forts. In clinics, it is very common and fun to have children design their own obstacle courses. This helps them with problem solving, creativity, and planning. If we took this outside, what might it look like? Children love creating forts of their own design, using everything from sticks and bricks to fabric and Plexiglas. They are still working on the same skills – only they are exposed to more sensory input, while igniting their imaginations at the same time.

Nature truly is the ultimate sensory experience and the perfect medium for occupational therapists to utilize, both for prevention and treatment methods. It is time we step beyond the confining walls of buildings, take our therapy swings outdoors for fresh air, and use the occupation of play outdoors to enrich children’s lives.

Additional Reading & Resources


TIME FOR YOUR VITAMIN “N”: Ten Great Ways Pediatricians and Other Health Professionals Can Promote Health and Wellness

VITAMIN “N” and the American Academy of Pediatrics – by Mary Brown, MD

THE WHOLE CHILD: A Pediatrician Recommends the Nature Prescription – by Larry Rosen, MD

THE “VITAMIN N” PRESCRIPTION – Some Health Professionals Now Recommending Nature Time for Children and Adults

“SITTING IS THE NEW SMOKING” — What We Can Do About Killer Couches, Sedentary Schools, and the Pandemic of Inactivity

GROW OUTSIDE! – Richard Louv’s Keynote Address to the American Academy of Pediatrics

My Mother’s Passing: An Educational Opportunity for Latino Women


My mother was an English teacher and a Community College Dean. She was an amazing woman and she passed away this last week, one day before her 73rd birthday and the birth and death day of William Shakespeare. She had polio when she was only 11 years old but went on to be an incredibly successful woman who guided me through childhood and much of adulthood. In her honor, I have worked with some of her beloved colleagues to set up a scholarship to support first generation Latina women seeking higher education later in life. The scholarship will be given to a student wishing to study at Modesto Junior College where she served as a Dean in the final phase of her career as an English teacher and an administrator.

If my mother were here today she would be so proud and amazed to know that she is part of a scholarship offering support to a Latino woman seeking to better herself through education!!! Love to you all.


Dear Colleagues and Friends of Dr. Brenda Robert,

As you know, our former dean and “The Mother of Literature & Language Arts,” Dr. Brenda Robert passed away last week.  She was a mentor and a friend to so many of us, and we hope to honor her soon at a memorial poetry reading where we can all get together to reminisce and celebrate her life.  In the meantime, I know many of you will agree that Brenda’s influence was far and wide, and will not soon be forgotten, nor should she ever be.  To that end, Ruth Luman and I (with Christina Robert’s support) have been working with the MJC Foundation to begin a scholarship in Brenda’s honor.

In speaking to Christina about this, she relayed a story that her mother, Brenda, had told her.  Back in her teaching days, Brenda recalled a student—an immigrant, a first generation, adult student and mother who felt compelled to return to school to provide a better life for her own daughters.  She had a husband who was less than supportive of his wife’s aspirations to attend college, and he made it very difficult on her to complete her assigned tasks, questioning why she would even need an education.   As Brenda tells the story, she explains that the student would have to hide in her bathroom in order to study, to read, to write for school.  Imagine a situation where the bathroom sink is your only desktop— the toilet seat, your office chair.  But this student was determined; she would succeed, and her story would inspire Brenda who has long admired courageous women, especially mothers, who persevere, seek higher education, and change their lives for the better.  Brenda must have seen herself in her student: strong, courageous, driven to succeed despite the odds against her.

I share this story now because these are the exact students who the “Brenda Robert Memorial Scholarship” hopes to target:  first generation, immigrant, adult women who wish to pursue their education at Modesto Junior College.

With the family’s blessing and with the support of George Boodrookas and the MJC Foundation, we are now set up to begin the important fundraising component to help endow this scholarship in order to make it available by next school year.

So . . .to those who wish to give to the “Brenda Robert Memorial Scholarship” fund, please make checks payable to the MJC Foundation, 435 College Avenue, Modesto, CA 95350 and include “Brenda Robert Scholarship” in the note field. 

Thanks for reading this and for thinking about Brenda at this time.  I wish you all great luck during finals and a restful, restorative summer break.



Sam Pierstorff

Professor of English

Editor, Quercus Review Press
Modesto Jr. College

Homemade Gummy Bears/Healthy Fruit Jello Squares

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My Pinterest friends and I decided it would be fun to try and make Gummi Bears. They ended up being more like Jello square or Knox Blox (if you remember those) or Fruit Animals, depending on the mold you use. We used strawberries for one batch and orange juice for another. You can mix and match and go crazy with any blended fruits.

Here is the fresh fruit we pureed using the immersion blender with some lemon juice, water honey. It was brought to a low boil. We whisked it constantly while adding the gelatin. We used about 3 TBS of gelatin per 1 1/2 cups of fruit or fruit juice. You could experiment to see how much you do or don’t need.

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Gelatin and honey.

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Here are the molds we used. They are cheap at Ikea.

It was pretty hard to get the fruit out of the molds. You put them in the freezer for 20 minutes, according to the recipe. You almost had to bring them back down to room temperature in order to get them out.

After this batch I made another batch with orange juice and lemon and then just put the mixture into a glass loaf pan and put it in the fridge and it set up in a few hours. Then I just cubed the jello. Ready to serve and easy to get out of the pan. It would be a good food for babies and toddlers too.

So the website above makes it look easy and perfect. Not so much. But I do like what I learned and I will be making more fruit squares in the future, without all of the sugar of the Jello.



Choices: A Story of Marriage and Divorce


As a person who is involved in the family law area of mental health, I see people every day who are faced with very difficult choices. A few months, I had a couple call to make and appointment to see me. They wanted to come in so they could get help preparing their preteen child for their divorce.

The couple’s marriage had been unstable for years and the father wanted to end the marriage. They only have one child and he felt as if the child were being put in the middle of their conflict too much of the time.

As the couple began to talk about their marriage and their history, it became evident to me that the marriage could potentially be saved. I, as a therapist, had a choice to make. Do I reflect back my observation that the marriage could potentially be saved or do I adhere to the goals with which they had presented?

I chose to have the “what if” conversation. What if you tried to work on the marriage? What if you worked on the things that have brought you to where you are today? What if another reality could be imagined?

The father was surprised. He said to me, “This is not what I came here to discuss.”

“I realize that. I understand why this could be confusing. It was not my plan to talk with you about working on your marriage either. However, I see a lot of couples and with the two of you I see potential.”

We have since had several sessions of marital therapy and last night we had a session with the child. We discussed how family life could be improved and what family life meant for the three of them. I explored with the child his emotions around his family life. We worked together to repair.

At the same time, I made it clear to the child that no one can predict the future and, yes, the thought of divorce is scary. At the same time that I was providing hope to this young child, I was also careful not to make any promises that I, or his parents, couldn’t keep.

I chose to help this family try to get back on its feet and the family chose to follow that path as well.

I hope they continue to make the right choices for themselves as individuals as well for their family. The end result may be divorce or it may be a healthier and better relationship and family life. Either way it will be continue to be my job to help them through this process and to offer alternative choices and realities along the way.


In May and June of 2014 the Chain Reaction Theatre Project will be performing a production called “Choices” in Bloomington and Minneapolis. For more information go to

My Book: Skin-to-Skin Contact After Cesarean

I am currently writing a book about skin-to-skin contact after Cesarean.



I also took some amazing pictures of a mother breastfeeding her 2 week old baby…I just love them. I hope they make it in the book.


Follow me on Facebook for more current information on the book and other skin-to-skin events.