Episode 39: Optimal Circadian Health


Episode 39: Optimal Circadian Health


We are Molly McKinney and Dylan Petkus. Our goal is to help you learn more about circadian rhythms and how they influence your health. We will help you feel better, look better, and get healthier while attempting to entertain you!

5 Fun Facts About Dylan:

1. Dylan has a voice for each of our/his family pets.

2. Dylan is an AMAZING chef (don’t tell anyone!) and in grad school he planned weekly gourmet meals with his friends.

3. Dylan gets some of his humor from watching Friday night Comedy Central growing up.

4. Dylan dreams of having a squat rack in our future back yard.

5. Dylan was on an Olympic weightlifting team in college.

5 Fun Facts About Molly:

1. If Molly weren’t studying to be a physician, she’d be a veterinarian because she loves animals so much.

2. Molly speaks Spanish and has spent time in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, Chile, and Argentina.

3. Molly won the Singlehanded Junior Women’s National Championship for sailing in 2009.

4. Molly dreams of being able to make her own lattes at home as good as The Royal makes them (*dreaming of Mexico*).

5. Molly read all the Nancy Drew books and Hardy Boy books in her local public library growing up.


Where Are Dylan & Molly Now?

We are currently in medical school in Florida and will graduate in 2020 with our MD and Masters in Public Health. This means we are full time students and therefore have a lot on our plate. What gets us out of bed on a daily basis is #1 – sunrise, #2 – helping others learn how to improve their health.

Dylan and Molly have created this website and are developing blog posts, circadian tip of the day videos and more to help you learn! We are working hard to give you the tools you need to take advantage of the power of circadian rhythms on your health while making sure we continue to pass our medical school exams. Wish us luck and share this content with those that you care about. We want to help those who want to listen how they can live better.

How Did Optimal Circadian Health Come About?

We have created this website because we are so excited to share with you what we have learned and we happen to be able to call this creation our “capstone public health project.” Pretty much all content is inspired by Dr. Jack Kruse, patients, friends, and family.

How Is Optimal Circadian Health Unique?

Dylan and Molly are training to be public health physicians with a unique perspectives approaching health with a circadian perspective and emphasis on how an individual’s environment sculpts their health.

We are pursuing training in Building Biology to improve patients’ environments. Building Biology is defined as a set of holistic practices to view and reconstruct the built environment with human health as the central focus. We are currently working towards fulfilling the coursework which requires over 200 hours of online work and 20 days of in-person workshops throughout the year. We want to refine our skills so that we can help others identify and mitigate health deteriorating aspects of our environment such as poor air quality, non-native electromagnetic fields (EMFs), and circadian rhythm-destroying light.

Let us know how we can help you!

Yours Truly,

Molly, Dylan, and Dino

(Dino is our tuxedo cat – once we finish residency we will be getting a puppy but until then, Dino is our rock)


5 Fun Facts About Dino:

1. Dino was malnourished (you could see his spine and he was half the size of other kitties his age) when we adopted him from the Humane Society so we think that’s why he doesn’t have a “real meow.” Instead, he squeaks or opens his mouth and nothing comes out!

2. Dino is always in his tuxedo and dressed to impress.

3. Dino loves cat nip. He snorts it, eats it, rolls around in it, and dreams of it 24/7.

4. Dino is short for Dionysus – the god of wine and purple.

5. Dino plays fetch with his mouse and elephant toys! And yes, he has an elephant toy (that’s smaller than him).

You can connect with Dylan & Molly here:

Instagram: @optimalcircadianhealth

Find us on Facebook and Instagram: 

Facebook Page: WEST: Women Empowered Stronger Together

Instagram: @westpodcast

Email: info@womenempoweredstrongertogether.com

(The link to download this episode is in the ‘PODCAST’ tab of this website)

Episode 38: Rethink. Rework. Rewire.

Episode 38: Rethink. Rework. Rewire.

Happy Wednesday WESTIES! Today’s episode is a heavy one, but so important. Trigger Warning: I share in detail how I have learned to rethink, rework. and rewire my brain and state of being despite all the sexual abuse I have experienced throughout my life. I also speak to how those experiences repeatedly cemented old thoughts, patterns, and beliefs I had about myself.

Please go into this episode with an open mind and heart. I do not share this to seek your empathy or concern. I am NOT a victim any longer. My intention in sharing is to teach you that you too can find happiness in your life regardless of the trauma you have endured.

With all the love and compassion in my heart,


From @risingwoman Instagram.

From @risingwoman Instagram.


Definition of Rethink: 

A reassessment, especially one that results in changes being made. 

Definition of Rework: 

Make changes to the original version of something. 

Definition of Rewire: 

An instance of rewiring something. 

The below quote also applies to beliefs. Read it as if belief is in the place of the word habit:

‘A habit is a redundant set of automatic, unconscious thoughts, behaviors, and emotions that are acquired through repetition. A habit is when you’ve done something so many times, that your body now knows how to do it better than your mind. People wake up in the morning, they begin to think about their problems. Those problems are circuits and memories in the brain. Each one of those memories are connected to people and things at certain times and places and if the brain is a record of the past the moment they start their day, they are already thinking in the past. Each one of those memories has an emotion. Emotions are the end product of past experiences. So the moment they recall those memories of their problems, they all of sudden feel unhappy, they feel sad, they feel pain. How you think and how you feel creates your state of being. So a persons entire state of being when they start their day is in the past. What does that mean? The familiar past, will sooner or later will be a predictable future. If you believe that your thoughts have something to do with your destiny, and you cannot think greater than how you feel, or feelings have become the means of thinking- by very definition of emotions, you are thinking in the past. And for the most part, you are going to keep creating the same life.’

-Dr. Joe Dispenza

Find us on Facebook and Instagram: 

Facebook Page: WEST: Women Empowered Stronger Together

Instagram: @westpodcast

Email: info@womenempoweredstrongertogether.com

(The link to download this episode is in the ‘PODCAST’ tab of this website)

Episode 37: Seek The Joy

IMG-4984 (1).PNG

Episode 37: Seek The Joy

Today I have Sydney Weiss on the show. Sydney is the creator and host of the ‘Seek The Joy’ podcast and movement. She is a bright light and was an absolute delight to talk to, and is a perfect example of  a joy seeker. 

Seek The Joy Podcast is your go-to podcast for heartfelt storytelling and conversations on all things self-love, joy, connection, empowerment, wellness, and spirituality. 

Through stepping into our authenticity we’re reconnecting to the light within and exploring our joy blueprint. 

Listen in- the journey home to who you are, starts now!

Let’s #seekthejoy together- every Tuesday!


Hey! My name is Sydney Weiss and I'm the creator, host, producer and joy seeker behind Seek The Joy Podcast. 

Seek The Joy Podcast is an idea I dreamt up in September 2017 while I was waiting for California Bar Results. It was the second time I sat for the exam (p.s. I passed! Hallelujah!) and I was sitting in my apartment reflecting on the last year. The woman I saw in the mirror staring back at me was different. She was calmer, kinder to herself, and happier. She was no longer the panicked negative self-talker she was a year ago.

I should probably rewind a little bit. In 2016 I had a slew of health issues - from shingles to appendicitis - and when you couple that with graduating from law school and sitting for the CA bar exam, and not passing, I was a mess. Okay - maybe that's a little harsh (or a lot harsh!) but I just didn’t feel like me anymore. When I found out I didn't pass the bar exam in November 2016 the negative self-talk I’ve carried with me throughout my life got worse. I was in a space of shame, anger, and embarrassment, and months of not listening to my body, running myself ragged, and being down right mean to myself took its toll. 

I could go into more detail about what that year was like, and what brought me here, but in true podcaster fashion I'm going to include the link here to listen to my episode, The Comeback Kid where I break it all down (it's one of my favs, so definitely check it out!)

While staring at myself in the mirror in September 2017, I remember experiencing this moment of insane inspiration. I knew I wanted to start a conversation and create a way to connect with others who had similar stories and experiences. I wanted to build a community and a space to share personal stories, explore our joy, and learn and grow through stepping into our vulnerability, courage, and reconnecting to our authentic voice. 

You can connect with Sydney here: 










Find us on Facebook and Instagram: 

Facebook Page: WEST: Women Empowered Stronger Together

Instagram: @westpodcast

Email: info@womenempoweredstrongertogether.com

(The link to download this episode is in the ‘PODCAST’ tab of this website)

Episode 36: HAPPY


Episode 36: HAPPY

On Westie Wednesday’s today, I share my acronym for HAPPY.







To be truly HAPPY, is honest, an admirable quality, takes patience, needs to be a daily practice, and saying yes to things when they are put on our path of life.

Find us on Facebook and Instagram: 

Facebook Page: WEST: Women Empowered Stronger Together

Instagram: @westpodcast

Email: info@womenempoweredstrongertogether.com

(The link to download this episode is in the ‘PODCAST’ tab of this website)

Episode 35: My Saving Grace, Yoga


Episode 35: My Saving Grace, Yoga


Sarah Ezrin is a motivator, writer, yoga teacher, and teacher trainer. Her joie de vivre is infectious. Her fun and popular yoga classes are infused with humor and positivity. Bringing a background of psychology and life coaching, Sarah lovingly guides people toward their brightest and best self.

Sarah is an E-RYT-500. She is based out of San Francisco where she lives with her husband and dog. A world traveler since birth, Sarah leads trainings, workshops and retreats at home and across the globe. She is also a certified life coach.

Sarah is a regular contributor for Yoga Journal, LA Yoga, and Yoga International. She is sponsored by numerous mindful fitness companies including Athleta, Manduka and has worked in the past with top brands such as Lululemon Athletica, Alternative Apparel, Fabletics, Sweaty Betty, Navitas Naturals, Vita Coco, Lifeforme Yoga, and Yoga Gives Back.

Sarah began doing yoga in college, however she did not get serious about her practice until working demanding hours in the film industry. It was also during this time that Sarah’s mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. The mat provided refuge and healing as her mother’s illness progressed. Sarah realized that time was too fleeting to not be spent doing what one loves. She quit the film business to pursue her passions.  Her mother was able to see her teach once before passing away.

For Sarah, yoga is beyond the postures it is a guide for living and she is changing the world, teaching self-love one person a time!

Sarah_Ezrin-Tiburon-189 (1).jpg

Here are some FANTASTIC articles Sarah has written: 

‘I Stopped Trying To ‘Fix’ My Anxiety. It Changed My Life.’


‘Recovering From Myself.’


‘This 7-Pose Home Practice Will Help You Close (Yes, Close) Your Heart After Grief.’



Find us on Facebook and Instagram: 

Facebook Page: WEST: Women Empowered Stronger Together

Instagram: @westpodcast

Email: info@womenempoweredstrongertogether.com

(The link to download this episode is in the ‘PODCAST’ tab of this website)

Episode 34: GRATITUDE


Episode 34: GRATITUDE

Happy Westie Wednesday! In this episode I share my acronym for GRATITUDE, as well as why I think it’s an important practice in our everyday lives.








Understanding Of



Everything starts with gratitude, EVERYTHING. More awareness, more love, more understanding, true grit, forgiveness, and compassion. Gratitude is what changed my relationship with my Father. A wonderful, full circle, ‘twinkle moment’ happened last night when I took my Dad to the TOTO concert! Below are photos of a text exchange I had with my Dad back in February 2019.


(I posted this on Instagram, and this is the caption I put with the above photos)

‘This is super vulnerable for me to write, however it’s very important to me to share. I NEVER in my life thought I could have a relationship with my Dad again. This may seem like a simple text exchange, but to me it means the absolute world. My parents have never been perfect- I know that. I’m learning to understand that they did the very best they knew how to with the knowledge and experience they had at that time in their life. The most beautiful thing about forgiveness is this: When you can remember the gold; those pure, good, and perfect moments in time- that is when you’ve truly begun to understand your own worthiness. Because when you can give someone a second chance in life, and you receive that exact chance in return- you have come full circle into what being a human being is all about. LOVE. True love is forgiveness. Nothing is more freeing. Nothing. So I’ll be over here at my house, headphones in, lip syncing the hell out of this song, as I dance around with happy tears streaming down my face.’

I never thought in a million years I would be able to actually jam out to ‘Africa’ with my Dad with TOTO playing it live in front of us! My relationship started to shift with my Dad once I started practicing gratitude towards him. Miracles happen with gratitude, unexpected moments, and pure delight of the heart. Gratitude takes practice, but I promise you, will TRANSFORM your life if you put it into a daily practice.

Sure love you, WESTIES.

In gratitude, Kiersten

Find us on Facebook and Instagram: 

Facebook Page: WEST: Women Empowered Stronger Together

Instagram: @westpodcast

Email: info@womenempoweredstrongertogether.com

(The link to download this episode is in the ‘PODCAST’ tab of this website)

Episode 32: THERAPY


Episode 32: THERAPY

Happy Westie Wednesday! Today’s episode I share my opinion on taking care of our mental health, the acronym I’ve created for THERAPY, and the healing properties of my favorite crystals: Lapis Lazuli & Rose Quartz. 






Attributing To A 



‘Therapy isn’t about conquering or crossing a finish line. It’s about exploring different ways to learn about your own mental health. This a constant process. You don’t put on workout clothes and instantly have a 6 pack. It takes TIME. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. If we’d put as much of a priority on healing as we do getting ‘booty gains’ or ‘abs’ we’d live in a much happier space where it actually matters. In between our ears. That is where your gold mine is. It’s not the bigger house, nicer car, or money in the bank. It’s more about getting to a place of peace. If you’re truly at peace within your own mind; the car, bigger house, or other material things you desire will fall into place for you.’

-Kiersten McIntire-


Also, here is the recipe I mention for paleo chocolate chip muffins:


Find us on Facebook and Instagram: 

Facebook Page: WEST: Women Empowered Stronger Together

Instagram: @westpodcast

Email: info@womenempoweredstrongertogether.com

(The link to download this episode is in the ‘PODCAST’ tab of this website)

Episode 31: Unbound Wellness

Episode 31: Unbound Wellness

In this episode I interview Michelle Hoover of Unbound Wellness. She is one of the sweetest and kindest women I have ever met. A well of knowledge on all things Paleo. AIP, and gluten free. Her cookbook is available now!


Hi! I’m Michelle Hoover!

I’m on a mission to help you live a vibrant, amazing life with chronic illness with delicious food, holistic living, and the motivation to make it sustainable.

A few years ago, if you were to tell me that I’d one day be free from my mystery food allergies, energy deficits, and thyroid problems, I would have thought you were crazy. But I’m here to tell you, that there is hope! There is hope that you can turn your health struggles into a health success story.

As many of you know, I too know the burden of living with chronic illness and autoimmune disease, but live a different life today…

My Hashimoto’s And Digestive Issues Story

When I was just 17 years old I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease. Hashimoto’s is a chronic autoimmune disease where my immune system the thyroid and basically messes up everything. I had a doctor tell me to sit down, shut up, take synthyroid, and I’d be mostly fine… I didn’t buy it. I felt in my heart that Hashimoto’s didn’t have to be a lifelong sentence, but I didn’t know what to do.

I went years feeling like I was mysteriously allergic to everything, and like my thyroid was out to get me. My whole body hurt, my headaches were chronic, my stomach ached every second of every day, and I was so fatigued that I would sleep up to 18 hours a day.

Three years later, I learned the autoimmune gut connection. From there, it all started to unravel. I went on a long journey to change my relationship with food, heal my gut, and change my lifestyle. I made a lot of mistakes, and I’m still nowhere near perfect, but today, my life is drastically different.

I went from hypothyroid… fatigue, weight gain, intolerance to cold.

To very hyperthyroid… heart palpitations, panic attacks, jittery feelings.

To stable… and while not eating whatever I want and pushing myself to my breaking point, still healthy, and thriving. 

Today, I embrace an Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Paleo template filled with nutrient-dense, healing foods, holistic lifestyle practices, and mindfully being grateful for every single day that God has given me! And I’m here to help you do the same…

I’m here to help you o your healing journey to better health with chronic illness.

The autoimmune protocol, paleo, and healing Hashimoto’s and leaky gut is not easy, and I know first hand. Unbound Wellness exists to help you through it all with…

  • Easy, fuss-free recipes

  • Insight on holistically managing health challenges

  • Dealing with the social impact of a new lifestyle

  • Keeping the motivation to be in it for the long haul!

I’m a nutritional therapy practitioner.

Certified by the nutritional therapy association! I’m not taking one on one clients at this time, but I use my knowledge as an NTP to dictate my content on my blog.

I’m a recipe developer.

I absolutely love cooking and creating. I develop multiple recipes a week here at Unbound Wellness that are paleo, AIP, gluten free, and all of the things free.

I don’t take myself too seriously. Life is short… Have fun!


1.I live in Dallas, TX now, but I grew up in Hauppauge, New York… and I’d move to either Florence, Italy or Colorado in a second.

2. I married the same man twice. My husband, Daniel, and I were such eager beavers we had a courthouse wedding a month after we were engaged. But I’m also a princess and wanted a real wedding 9 months afterward!

3. Daniel and I met on Match.com! He was actually the first and last guy I met online. He messaged me within the first week of joining and locked it down. I often joke that I basically just Amazon prime’d a husband.

4. I got started cooking through baking cupcakes from boxed mixes. Things have changed a lot over the years!

5. My cat’s name is Stinky… seriously.

6. As you may have noticed from my Instagram stories, I’m kind of a ridiculous human being who refuses to take myself too seriously. Life is too short!

7. I’m fairly introverted and never drank alcohol even before I went paleo/AIP. I firmly believe in indulging in collagen bites and tea over alcohol.

8. I ate junk daily until I was about 18 and slowly became Paleo/ AIP as I realized how it helped me heal.

9. Tomatoes and potatoes were once my favorite foods… oh nightshades.

10. Hashimoto’s changed my life for the better and I wouldn’t change who I’ve become for the world.

As someone with Hashimoto’s disease and various gut issues myself, I created Unbound Wellness to share how to have fun with healthy, anti-inflammatory foods, and build a sustainable lifestyle! Here you’ll find a myriad of recipes and lifestyle strategies for living well.

Michelle Hoover, Creator of Unbound Wellness

Michelle Hoover, Creator of Unbound Wellness


Find us on Facebook and Instagram: 

Facebook Page: WEST: Women Empowered Stronger Together

Instagram: @westpodcast

Email: info@womenempoweredstrongertogether.com

(The link to download this episode is in the ‘PODCAST’ tab of this website)

Episode 30: Remember That Fearless Little Girl

Today’s Westie Wednesday’s episode is a mid week reminder to honor the fearless little girl that resides within each of us as women. I also dive deeper into the mantra for WEST:

‘Remember that fearless little girl that resides within you. She has never left your side, and is always within you. She is there to call on for the courage and strength to keep moving forward. You CAN do this. You are good. You are loved. You are kind. You are smart. You are happy. You are free.’

-WEST Mantra-

IMG-4526 (1).PNG

Find us on Facebook and Instagram: 

Facebook Page: WEST: Women Empowered Stronger Together

Instagram: @westpodcast

Email: info@womenempoweredstrongertogether.com

(The link to download this episode is in the ‘PODCAST’ tab of this website)

Episode 29: All Time Favorites, Food & Home Edition


Episode 29: All Time Favorites: Food & Home Edition

In this episode I share my 10 favorite eateries, stores, and home products!

1. Mrs. Meyer’s Cleaning Products:




Mrs. Thelma A. Meyer is a real person with a real passion for keeping things neat and tidy. She is the inspiration behind Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day-- household cleaners that work like the dickens but smell nice. Thelma, an avid gardener, wouldn't have it any other way.

With scents that are inspired by a midwest backyard garden, and products that are chock-full of plant-derived ingredients and essential oils, we're continuously channeling Thelma's passion for the environment. As a mother of nine, she was no-nonsense, and had a sensible approach to living a healthy and balanced life. It's this balance that we hope to achieve with the products we make. Mrs. Thelma A. Meyer believes in a happy medium between perfectionism and a happy, "lived in" home. Ask Thelma and she'll tell you that cleaning is something that just has to get done, so there's more time to enjoy family and friends. So if you can make cleaning more pleasant, well, why wouldn't you?

My favorite scents are: Basil & Lavender!

Best. Fall. Scent. Ever.

Best. Fall. Scent. Ever.

2. The Loaf: Grain Free & Paleo Bread


Grain-free Bread and Cookies that taste good, too! The Loaf LLC is an all-paleo, certified organic, gluten-free baked goods company that is committed to great quality and taste just as much as avoiding grains, dairy, and all other non-paleo food groups.

All products are made in a gluten-free and certified organic facility, which doesn't process any foods made with gluten, dairy, soy, yeast, wheat, or grains.

The Founder

The Loaf LLC founder, Johanna Dasteel, eliminated gluten and dairy from her diet in 2000, but it wasn't until 2010 when her doctors advised a drastic reduction of her sugar intake by eliminating grains entirely that she found real and dramatic relief from migraines, chronic fatigue, weight gain, hypoglycemia, acne, and inflammation. 

Throughout this dietary journey, Johanna found that regularly baking and keeping paleo bread and cookies in her home is key to sticking to the diet. However, she longed for the convenience of just picking them up at the store.

The Loaf was born out of Johanna's dissatisfaction with the availability and quality of the products on the market, and out of her discovery that she wasn't alone in her search!

Johanna is motivated by being in solidarity with the customers she serves and is thrilled to dive deeper into the paleo community with The Loaf. 

You guys, this is the best bread I have ever tasted. Johanna is at the downtown SLC Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, and currently carried at the Redmond Farms store in Sugarhouse, as well as Liberty Heights Fresh in Sugarhouse. She is in talks with a large retailer right now too, so more of us can get our hands on this fantastic bread! You can also purchase the bread on her website: www.theloafgrainfree.com

Now, speaking of Liberty Heights Fresh, that brings me to my next favorite!

Johanna Dasteel, Founder and CEO of The Loaf

Johanna Dasteel, Founder and CEO of The Loaf

3. Liberty Heights Fresh: 


Always eat well! Liberty Heights Fresh offers the best, authentic, real food crafted right here in our Salt Lake community, around the country, and from around the globe. No unpronounceable, unrecognizable, mystery, imitation ingredients allowed. Simply good food made with wholesome, traditional products that your grandparents would recognize. 

From a 20th Century ‘gas station’, we have created a 21st Century ‘gastronomic station’ and take great pleasure in assuring yours. whenever you desire something good to eat that is also good for you! Since 1993, we have been inspiring good eating in Salt Lake City and throughout Utah- we have been inspired quite a lot of imitation from other local grocers… and, a we see it ‘Imitation is the greatest form of flattery!’ But their nothing like the original… so please visit to discover why we take your pleasure at the table to new ‘Heights.’

Steven regularly travels the world to bring you the most delicious food imaginable. Richly flavor3ed charcuterie, extra virgin olive oils, farmstead cheese, and freshly organically grown produce are just a few of the delicacies you’ll discover at Liberty Heights Fresh. You’ll also discover just how much fabulous food is grown and produced right here in our own backyard. We bring you the best in seasonal produce and a whole lot more from Utah farmers, ranchers, and food makers. 

From Food Enthusiast to Food Evangelist

Steven has received many accolades for his work at Liberty Heights Fresh, but the one of which he is most proud is having been named Salt Lake City’s ‘Food Evangelist’ by Salt Lake Magazine. For Steven, that title says it all since his mission in life is to spread the word about how spiritually fulfilling good food can be. He truly believes that what we put own our mouths makes a difference for our bodies, our souls, and our planet. It’s wonder, then that he insists on selling only the most delicious, authentic food in the world. 

From The Farm To The Table 

Steven got to Liberty Heights Fresh the same way the food gets there. He started out on a family farm and found his way into the world of full-flavored food. Steven was the fourth-generation to work his family’s farmland-land that is still in the family and still being farmed today. The family orchards where Steven learned the value of sustainable agriculture are still producing fruit. And the dishes served at that farmhouse table still set the standard for food that’s worth eating. Food at Liberty Heights Fresh is still made the old-fashioned way using ingredients that even Steven’s great-grandmother would recognize- and love!

My favorite yummies from LHF are:

Groovy Bird sandwich, Super Mood salad, and their grass fed beef brisket sandwiches which are served Wednesday-Saturday.

Liberty Heights Fresh: 1300 South 1100 East Salt Lake City, Utah

Liberty Heights Fresh: 1300 South 1100 East Salt Lake City, Utah

Steven Rosenberg, Founder of Liberty Heights Fresh and SLC Food Evangelist

Steven Rosenberg, Founder of Liberty Heights Fresh and SLC Food Evangelist

4. Poo Pouri Toilet Spray:


‘I confess. I’m obsessed with all things natural! I expect a lot out of the products I choose to bring into my home. Fed up with the lack of natural bathroom odor solutions, I decided to get off my hiney and do something about it! Combining my knowledge of essential oils and entrepreneurial passion, I formulated Poo~Pourri as the first natural, truly effective solution to a universal problem: poop happens, and it stinks! Poo~Pourri transforms your bathroom experience (and those who come in after you) by stopping bathroom odor before it begins…seriously!

And let’s be honest: everybody does it, it’s only natural! All around us, people are increasingly breaking free from conformity and convention, yet we still allow silly taboos like bathroom odor to hold us back. Poo~Pourri changes that. Poo~Pourri shows how one effortless shift in your routine and mindset can create a positive transformation. Poo~Pourri liberates you from toxic thoughts and ingredients, and inspires you to confidently own your throne! Besides, you’ve got more important crap to worry about!

It’s amazing what a little fresh thinking and a lot of hard work can do…It’s time to take a shift!’

-Suzy Batiz, Founder of Poo-Pourri

On that note, let’s talk about my favorite place to stop for a cleanse or all organic juice!

BRILLIANT MARKETING, from www.poo-pourri.com

BRILLIANT MARKETING, from www.poo-pourri.com

5. Vive Juicery: 


‘I remember the first time I walked into a farmers market and thought, "This is what food is supposed to be like." From that day forward, I knew I wanted to find a way to make a positive impact on the local agriculture community and bring people together over food. At first I thought it was going to be a coffee shop, or a cafe of some sort, but nothing quite stuck. I had been juicing for a few years and loved the way I felt when I drank it, so after a trip to San Francisco where there was a juice bar on every corner I knew that I needed to bring that concept here.

At the ripe age of 23, I didn't know the first thing about starting a business. Turned off and overwhelmed by traditional approaches like bank loans or pitching to investment sharks, I took the idea of a local, cold-pressed juice company to the community via a Kickstarter campaign. At first I thought Vive was going to be a mobile cart, or something we offered just at the farmers market, but after purchasing an entry-level cold-pressed juicer, I quickly realized we needed to switch up our approach. Instead, we launched Vive as a delivery-only concept, opening for business on August 13, 2013. Our customers would call or order online and we'd wake up before the birds to haul everything into our commissary kitchen, juice everything, deliver it throughout the city and then spend the rest of the day working on building this crazy little idea. A few months in, we partnered up with Zest Kitchen + Bar, turning the restaurant into a popup juice shop during the week and selling juice at the Winter Farmers Market. I saved every penny I could those first few months to put towards our own physical storefront location. Come April 2014, we opened the doors of flagship location in Sugar House.

Fast forward to today, we are now a four-year-old company with three storefront locations, a 2500 square foot kitchen warehouse and we offer delivery + subscription services from North Salt Lake to Alpine. We've got some big things in the works and we can't wait to share with you what's to come.

We are forever grateful for this beautiful city and the people within it. Community is at the heart of Vive. It always has been, it always will be.’


-Brittany Shimmin, Founder + CEO

My favorite Vive juices: 

The Sensei

Alkaline water, lemon, ginger, raw honey, cayenne, activated charcoal.


Spinach, kale, cucumber, green apple, celery, lemon and lime.

Matcha Glow

Filtered water, activated cashews, dates, matcha, cinnamon, cardamom and maple syrup.

Brittany is the SWEETEST, and always so helpful when I have talked to her over the years. She plans to be on the pod soon too!


6. Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli:


‘Purveyors Of Regional Italian, And Southern European Foods.’

Our Culture: 

There are food lovers. Then there are food nerds. Our market staff is not only friendly, but they’re downright knowledgeable about the food. Through hands-on training, workshops with food artisans, and a sheer love of the good stuff, Caputo’s staff strives to provide customers with the best flavors from around the world as well as from local producers.

When you visit the shop, it’s perfectly fine to ask for a sample of cheese or something that catches your eye from our Cheese Cave. Have a question about olive oils? Our folks will help you find the perfect one by sampling and explaining each bottle.

You get the picture. If you have the time, we have the samples. So go ahead and ask. We’d be happy to help.’

They also offer classes like Wine 101, intro to cheese, intro to chocolate, tour of Italy, etc. The classes are affordable, like the wine 101 class is only $60 and comes with a tasting. 

My favorite thing to get at Caputo’s is a side of meatballs and a side of greek salad. Or their tuna sandwich on a bed of greens instead of bread. Meatballs are to die for! 

7. Finn’s:


Established in 1952 and formerly located at the top of Parley’s way, the Historic Finn’s Restaurant returned in 2006 with Finn Gurholt Jr. as proprietor, chef and baker. With the assistance of his wife Vickey, Finn and the rest of the Gurholt family, constantly strive for excellence in the cafe. The family pride themselves on using only the freshest ingredients and providing unparalleled customer service.   

Finn and Vickey are always delighted to chat with any customer who walks through their doors. They love to catch up with longtime customers as much as they like to acquaint new ones. If Vickey and Finn are not in the dining hall tending to their guests, it is certain they are just around the corner contributing to the cafe in their own unique ways. Such as when Finn prepares his weekly roast for the pyttipanna special, or when Vickey tends to the garden to collect fresh rosemary for the house vinaigrette. 

The iconic “Finn’s” neon sign displayed above the cafe is the same one used by the original restaurant — which signifies Finn’s commitment to Salt Lake heritage and tradition. Additionally, the Finn’s family has much to celebrate this summer as they approach the 12th year since they reopened. ‘

Before my great grandparents Bestemor and Bestefar passed away- I used to go to Finns with them.

Favorites from Finn’s:

-Their jam IS my jam

-Mini parmesan breadsticks

-Green drink: celery, cucumber, parsley, and lemon fresh pressed juice

Best place in SLC for breakfast in my opinion!

Finn’s: 1624 South 1100 East Salt Lake City, Utah

Finn’s: 1624 South 1100 East Salt Lake City, Utah

Finn Gurholt, Founder of Finn’s

Finn Gurholt, Founder of Finn’s

8. Health-Ade Kombucha:


Health-Ade kombucha was started in 2012 by a husband, wife, and best friend in a true farmers’ market start-up story: a small credit card and a big dream to make REAL FOOD and bring only THAT to the commercial shelf. The best tasting and highest quality kombucha you can buy is just the start, as our ultimate mission is to be the champion of the happiest and healthiest you.

We are a hard working, bubbly, and optimistic crew, always authentic and real.

We help each other out and go above and beyond. We work with high integrity, never bash competitors, and differentiate by focusing on what WE do.

Simply put, we’re best in class.

The anchor is an icon that represents what Health-Ade kombucha is: grounding, classic, strong, hard-working.

The word “Kombu” is Japanese for kelp or seaweed. Upon learning of kombucha’s deep-rooted connection to the sea, we chose our anchor icon.’

My favorite Health-Ade flavors are: Lemon Ginger, Concord Grape, and Pink Lady Apple 

Health-Ade also has a 10% off coupon on their website, as well as are carried in Harmon’s, Whole Foods, Erewhon, Liberty Heights Fresh, Natural Grocers, and Sprouts. 


9. Superieur Electrolytes:


About Us

I want the best for my girls and that is why I started Superieur Electrolytes. 

For the past 20+ years, I've been busy creating, formulating & selling other people's electrolyte drinks. I know the drinks that are out there & what they are made from. My family accuses me of being an over the top label reader.

Now after all these years of being in the business, I believe that we have the best electrolyte drink available.

My wife grew up surrounded by Lake Superior. We love the Big Lake, hence the name Superieur Electrolytes.

We are grassroots & 100% employee owned. We do everything ourselves & by eliminating 3rd party formulators, middlemen & mass distributors, it allows us to have the best tasting, best ingredients & best price on the market.

Superieur Electrolytes is in the finest holistic centers, yoga studios, gyms, health food stores, running stores, bike shops, outdoor stores & in the cupboards of the healthiest households.

Strong & Healthy,



Vitamin C, calcium, potassium, stevia leaf extract, pink Himalayan salt, bamboo leaf extract, and trace minerals, organic rice syrups, and citric acid. 

Gluten free, non-GMO, and Vegan. 

They have 3 flavors: Citrus Orange, Watermelon, and Concord Grape. 


10. Anker Wireless Phone Charger: 



-PowerWave Stand

-The Optimized Wireless Charging Stand

-Versatile Viewing

Twin charging coils let you watch videos in landscape orientation, or stand in portrait mode for web browsing and facial recognition—all while keeping the power flowing.

Just in Case: Don’t worry about taking your case off whenever you have to charge. PowerWave delivers charging power directly through cases up to 5 mm thick—including Otterboxes.


Find us on Facebook and Instagram: 

Facebook Page: WEST: Women Empowered Stronger Together

Instagram: @westpodcast

Email: info@womenempoweredstrongertogether.com

(The link to download this episode is in the ‘PODCAST’ tab of this website)

Episode 26: ATLAS



As I have mentioned in previous episodes, I have a gift for creating acronyms for everyday words, and am currently writing a coffee table book full of acronyms. Today’s episode I wanted to share ATLAS the acronym I came up with for navigating through life. 

History has always fascinated me, and I was curious who invented the first Atlas. We have Gerardus Mercator and Abraham Ortelius to thank. John Lienhard a professor at the University of Houston has studied both Mercator and Ortelius in depth, and this is from part of his studies: 


The atlas was a most peculiar invention. To see how it came into being, let's meet two Flemish friends. They were Gerardus Mercator and Abraham Ortelius.

Mercator, born in 1512, was older by 15 years. He was an intellectual, a mathematician, and an innovator. He went on to become the great Renaissance mapmaker. He gave us the Mercator projection. He published a world map in that projection in 1569.

Ortelius trained as an engraver -- an artist/craftsman. In 1554 he went into business buying and selling maps. For Ortelius, maps were merchandise. He'd collect maps and redraw them. He'd decorate their borders and the empty reaches of land and sea. He'd mount them on silk and render them in color.

Mercator also saw the map as a work of art. His own map of the world was an artistic triumph as well as an intellectual one. He knew good work, and he had a very high opinion of Ortelius.

Mercator's world map had one nasty drawback. It was huge. It was meant to hang on a wall. Old maps were like that. For minor place-names to be readable, the map had to be immense.

Up-to-date maps were serious business for seagoing Netherlands traders. Finally, a trader named Hooftman came to Ortelius and said, in effect, "Can't you chop these bedsheets into two-foot squares and publish the map of the world in a book?"

Ortelius wasn't thinking in terms of books, but, with Mercator's help, he collected the best maps around. He created the book Hooftman had asked for. In 1570 he made the first atlas.

He didn't call it an atlas. He called it a Theatre of the Round World. It sold like hot-cakes and went into one improved printing after another. Praise followed it. People called Ortelius a great intellectual. Mercator himself praised Ortelius for "the faithfulness with which you bring out geographical truth."

It was 1585 before the aging Mercator published the first volume of his own world map in book form. By then Ortelius was the more famous of the two. Sir Francis Drake took his maps to sea.

Mercator, as much a theologian as a cartographer, titled his new book Atlas, or Cosmographical Meditations upon the Creation of the Universe. In his engraved title page, he was first to summon the image of the mythical Atlas, condemned to carry the world on his shoulders. 

Mercator may've given the atlas its name and much of its substance to boot. Yet we'd be foolish to forget Ortelius. You see, atlases came into being for a very modern reason. They were created when a trader simply hired a craftsman to recast crucially important information -- into a user-friendly form.’ End quote. 

My Father also has a love for maps, and as a result- I have been around them a large part of my life. As a young girl, I remember him having the World Book Encyclopedia’s out looking at maps, and as a family we always gave him a Rand McNally road atlas as a gift every year. 

These acronyms come to me out of no where, and sometimes I have to repeat them over and over in my head until I can get to somewhere to write them down or type them into the notes app on my phone. I have even started taking a small pen and paper into the yoga studio when I teach because there have been a couple times I have gotten one in the middle of class, and I repeat it in my mind until I can jot it down. Sometimes I only get a few letters of the word, and it evolves from there coming to me bit by bit. Because I have come up with so many, I wanted to create something people can enjoy, as well as creating something easy to remember for everyday words. 

The tagline to my book will be:

‘Actions needed to live a beautiful and fulfilling life, through everyday words as acronyms.’

I have the title of my book, but will share that in another episode, and you guessed it! The title is another acronym. 

To separate each acronym throughout the book, I will have art from female artists from all over the world. Art has always been something I have loved, and the creative minds of others humble me on a daily basis. 

A friend of mine posted on Instagram about a year ago a woman she was friends with who is an incredible artist. Her name is Sara Weintraub, and her art is absolutely gorgeous. After having hired Sara to do some other commissions for me, I asked her to create 5 women to represent the letters of ATLAS. Please please go have a look at them, they will be on both my website and social media. They turned out so well, that they bring grateful tears to my eyes every time I look at them. I’m so excited you will get to enjoy them as much as I have. Sara also created a beautiful watercolor painting for me to represent ALL women, that will be up on my website within the next week or so. Stay tuned until the end of this episode and I will share how you can get in touch with Sara or to purchase some of her art.

Now, I’m sure you’re dying to hear what ATLAS is! To navigate through the ATLAS of life, we need Awareness, Time, Love, Action, and Surrender. ATLAS.








The very definition of awareness form the Merriam Webster dictionary is: Knowledge or perception of a situation or fact. 


Synonyms for Awareness are consciousness, realization, and understanding. 

I like to think that Awareness is the very first step to anything in life. Whether that is change, learning the lessons the Universe is presenting to us, a hard conversation, recognizing a pattern, owning our part in everyday situations, or knowing when it’s time to step into the unknown. Awareness creates the beginning, and it is how we choose to continue moving forward, or to continue staying stuck. Once our Awareness is recognized, it will always be there in the back of our minds, even if we choose to ignore it. 

Awareness can come in many forms, an ah-ha moment, a quote resonating with you, a loved one sharing a perspective you previously hadn’t thought of, advice given, in meditation, the lyrics to a song you have heard 1000 times but you hear it so clearly one day that it stops you in your tracks, a sign you might pass on the subway or school hallway, the graphic on a strangers tee shirt, an animal that shows up regularly whether photos of if or physically seeing it, a line in a film, repeated numbers on license plates receipts, gas pump, or taking space from a person or situation to collect your thoughts, and receiving guidance from your own intuition. It’s important to remember that Awareness comes in bits and pieces, which brings us to the next letter of ATLAS, Time. 




Time can be on our side, or it can be a real pain in the ass. It is neither equal to the former nor 100% on one end of spectrum. Time can be a wonderful teacher, or Time can seem to stand still when we are waiting for something. Time can be of the essence, or it can be wasted. Time flies by, or Time stands still. Time is what it takes to heal, grow, level up, ascend, graduate, accomplish a goal, to master a skill, to earn a degree, change our bodies, change our minds, to create new patterns and practices, get a promotion, be recognized, and to achieve our dreams. Time can be a blessing or a curse, humorous or devastating, a doozy, or a real wonder, a diamond, or a piece of coal. Things take Time, healing takes Time, and most of all awareness takes Time. Timing is the action of time. And as they say, timing is everything. Time is also manmade and is frequently referred to as the fourth dimension. Time is used in everything we do. In our work schedules, the separation of days, months, and years, in sports, in aging, in it all. However, our biggest issues with Time, is we never seem to have enough of it, or take it for granted. 

One of my favorite songs about Time is Harry Chaplins ‘Cats In The Cradle.’ I haven’t listened to this song in years, and just like I mentioned earlier about Awareness I had some of my own Awareness healing from the lyrics to this song as I was writing this episode. Stopped me dead in my tracks. And naturally- it came on my Spotify shuffle as I was writing. Thank you for that ‘twinkle moment,’ Universe. 

The song is about a father that is too busy for his son. His son really looked up to him, and wanted to be just like him. As the son grew up the father never had time for him, and as the son got older he wanted to be be just like him even more. The son grows up and no longer has time for his father. The father is then retired and has the awareness come to him that his son grew up to be just like him, with no time for the ones that matter the most. It’s both equally heartbreaking and beautiful. Heartbreaking because it took him until after retirement to understand what matters, but beautiful he had the awareness come to him before he was on his deathbed, the lesson wasn’t ever learned fully, and it was too late to make it right. 


My child arrived just the other day

He came to the world in the usual way

But there were planes to catch, and bills to pay

He learned to walk while I was away

And he was talking 'fore I knew it, and as he grew

He'd say "I'm gonna be like you, dad"

"You know I'm gonna be like you"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon

Little boy blue and the man in the moon

"When you coming home, dad?" "I don't know when"

But we'll get together then

You know we'll have a good time then

These lyrics really strike me because the father is retired and elderly before he has the awareness around not being in his sons life, and how deeply it now hurts him. So often times we get caught up as the lyrics say ‘there were planes to catch, and bills to pay’ that we let Time slip away from us with things we think matter, when in the end they don’t so much. 

With this song being about a father and son. I asked my dad what time has taught him: 

‘The older I get, the more conscious I am of how precious Time is. When I was young it seemed that time was an inexhaustible resource. If I didn’t do anything of value on a given day, no worries; there was always tomorrow.

It seems now (in my mid 50s) that Time is moving faster and I feel more urgency to use my Time well. Using my Time well includes trying to be more present for my wife and children and not obsessing over past experiences where I may have been mistreated or experienced an injustice. Letting those things go frees up more Time for me to do what is most meaningful for me and most useful to others in my life.

I have kept an intermittent journal over Time, and I’m very glad now that I have done that because details fade over the years. And I think my children and grandchildren might enjoy learning things they didn’t know about me or about themselves when I write about them.’ 

-Hank McIntire

End quote. 

Yes, awareness takes time, but there is one simple thing you can do to to help create more Awareness within your life. Ask for it! Whether you believe in God, or the Universe, ASK! You can ask for this through prayer, movement, meditation, song, being still, walking on a dirt trail in the mountains, or grocery shopping. There is no perfect place, Time, or scenario to ask for awareness. Once you’ve asked, go into an observer mode. Observe the weather, the bugs that fly past you or land on your car, the numbers you see, signs you pass, page numbers you open to, songs you hear, podcasts you listen to, or people you meet. I have had so many random conversations with people over the years or overheard a conversation on an airplane that created an idea in my mind, or an ah-ha moment! These conversations could have been as random as hearing another couple talking about a restaurant they wanted to try, called Pallete in New York. That sparked the thought in me that I want to expand my palette in life, having new experiences in travel, and taking Time to revisit the things that have always scared me, but that I’ve always wanted to try. Then that thought brought me into my next thought which was that I have always been scared to paint, but it’s something that has always interested me. That Awareness and thought came to me over a year ago, and last week for my birthday- I spent the day alone, and most of it painting!

The Awareness that came from that overheard conversation, wasn’t the full answer. That answer didn’t come to completion until I finally had the courage to pick up a paintbrush. 

These Awarenesses take Time, and it may not be the full answer you  initially asked for guidance on, but a piece of it, which is one of sometimes many sparks to get to the full blown ‘twinkle moment.’ 

When noticed, these sparks get me really excited, and I start to become even more of an observer. It’s kind of a fun game you can play with yourself. The more you are an observer, the more you notice, and the more you notice, Awareness starts to become easier to spot, create, and eventually implements positive change in our daily lives. 

In the wise words of my 16 year old brother Kaleb: 

‘People often view Time as a restraint, or something that goes by oh so very slowly. But in reality, it moves faster than most of us humans can comprehend. 

Time flies by. You never know when someone will waltz into your life, or walk out of it just as quickly. You mustn’t ever take things in your life for granted. Again, you never know what may happen. 

Time has taught me a few things. One being, Time does not get rid of your emotions, all it can do it dull them for a while. Your emotions and past experiences that are not dealt with will always eventually float back up to the surface. 

As my mother always says, ‘Nothing good ever happens in the heat of the moment.’ Your problems always seem smaller after some Time, and Time allows you to see things in a different light. Thus, giving you perspective.’ 

-Kaleb McIntire

End quote. 

Time can also be humorous. My best girlfriend Heather has this to say about Time: 

‘Time is humorous. In fact, the entire Universe is humorous. I started a project five years ago that is finally coming to life. Over the course of the five years, I've had my moments of impatience and questioning what ingredient I was missing to make this project successful. The missing ingredient was Time, which is the humorous part. I wouldn't be where I am today without doing the work required over the amount of Time required. We can't rush Time and we can't slow it down. But we can laugh with it.’ 

-Heather Reinhardt 

Remember that Awareness takes Time, but what a wonderful gift that it also gives us perspective. And when we have perspective, we can allow more Love to enter our hearts.

The next letter of ATLAS is Love. 




Ahhhh, Love. Love can be just as much of a pain in the ass as Time can. The emotion of Love in my opinion teaches us more than any other emotion can. Love can emit happiness, joy, fulfillment, gratitude, compassion, kindness, acceptance and peace. It can also emit despair, sadness, anger, betrayal, frustration, pain, shame, avoidance, could make you feel jaded, and can create deep wounds.

Love is also the thing we are most obsessed and adamant in finding within our lives as human beings. We ALL want to love and be loved. They say love is love, love is the answer, love is everything. In the wise words of Nicholas Sparks from one of my favorite films ‘The Notebook’ Noah Calhoun says: 

“I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough..” 

―Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook


Learning to love can also take Time, just as Awareness can. Love can create miracles, Love can create the greatest feelings of euphoria that you never want to leave. When we can learn to let real Love come into our hearts for someone, it is then we shine our very brightest. I also believe Awareness, and Time can create the ultimate, most important, and most fulfilling Love. Love for ourselves. 

I have continued to go to yoga at least 5-6 days a week, and since January 1st have only missed going to my yoga class 16 days so far this year. My schedule in my creation of all things WEST in addition to a full time job, teaching yoga, feeding myself, and taking care of a dog has been something I have had to cultivate the best use of my time possible. With my regular attendance and times I go to yoga during the week, I have the same teachers a lot, which I love. A few weeks ago I was in a rush to get to class because of traffic, construction, road closures (one of our seasons in Utah is construction), and I was more than flustered when I walked in the door. The class was full, and I was annoyed I didn’t get to my normal spot in the room. I set my mat down with vigor and marched out of the hot room to change my clothes. It had been a busy and long day, and it showed. My attitude was a poor one. The first half of class I wasn’t focused and just pissed. The first half of class is standing postures, and the second half is postures on the floor. In between there is a 2-3 minute savasana. In savasana the teacher shared a story about her cat. She shared how she has a big, fluffy, orange cat, that is always by her side and brings her immense joy. That even though he's nothing but trouble (she has to feed him, he flings litter all over her bathroom everyday, and meows really loud sometimes) his sheer existence makes her happy. She then said she had an epiphany. That if her cats simple existence can bring her so much happiness, why can’t her own existence bring her that much happiness? Why can’t she love herself enough to be happy she’s even here? 

That story hit me like a ton of bricks. Hot tears started to fall from my eyes, and if you have ever cried in a hot yoga room, you know that those tears sting way worse in freshly opened pores from sweating so much. My Awareness was instantly expanded to the answer to the question I have been asking for a long Time of myself. ‘Why am I so critical?’  I have had many sparks that have had to come together to finally have this one come to completion. When I figured it out, it blew my mind. 

I’ve always known that I have been a critical person, and EXTREMELY critical of myself. I knew that is was because of the Mormon religion I was raised in, that there was a certain level of perfection expected, but I didn’t understand at the core why it was I have always been so damn critical. I have been critical to the point of making men I have dated cry and ask me to literally stop criticizing them because I had done it for an hour straight. That is how bad it has gotten at one time or another in my life. And did I listen to their pleas for me to stop? Not really. In my darkest nights of the soul, this has been the thing that has tormented me the most. It has also brought more pain into my life than anything else. Criticism of others, and mostly myself. Even admitting that makes my vision blur a little bit for tears that want to fall. This conclusion came in two beautiful parts. 

The first one hearing the cat story in yoga, and the second one 3 hours later in my RET (Rapid Eye Technology) therapy session. To explain what RET is, I will use words directly from the RET website: 


‘Rapid Eye Technology (RET) is a revolutionary breakthrough in the treatment of emotional stress. RET can give you a faster, less painful way of reaching and releasing the following:

-Abuse of all kinds

-Addictions of all kinds

-Depression, Anger and Grief

-Family and Relationship Patterns

Basically any issue that causes stress can be released, the body retrained, and the mind educated to think and react differently through the RET process and Skills for Life.

RET consists of essentially two parts:

Identify and release the stress-causing factors on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level through the structured movement and blinking of the eyes (the RET process), and to learn and apply new skills for life on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level to create what we would rather experience in life.’ End Quote. 

I have had 7 sessions so far and it has been life changing. The second part to the conclusion of why I’m so critical happened to be in session #3! Which if you listen to WEST regularly, you know that 3, is my magic number in life. 

During this therapy you blink your eyes as quickly as you can to assimilate the state your brain goes when you are in REM sleep. When you are deepest in your subconscious. During the therapy your therapist is saying things to help you release old beliefs about yourself. Now before I get to this second part of the conclusion, I need to share the first. 

After the cat story I was crying a lot in class. I decided to take a couple postures out, lying on my back with my eyes closed focusing on my breath because i was so emotional. A very simple sentence popped into my head. ‘You are so critical because that is the only attention you received growing up,’ This made the tears flow faster. My face was on fire, but I also had a deep sense of peace wash over me. As the oldest of 12 children, raised in a Mormon and strict military household, the overwhelming majority of attention I received was that of criticism. I knew that this criticism had affected me in a negative way, but hadn’t put together that this was the biggest reason I was so critical, and expected perfection out of anyone that was around me. Especially close friends, or even worse, the men I have dated. The overwhelming majority of attention I have paid to others, has been that of criticism! Wow, I thought. I felt peace and relief for a brief minute, then was overcome with shame. I felt AWFUL. It all started to come together; things that I have said, ways I have acted. I had really done a number on myself and others. I went into yoga flustered and frustrated. I left yoga feeling happy I had this new found Awareness, and at the exact same time, full of shame for my past behavior. I cried all the way home, and took a long epsom salt bath to try and stop the tears. 

After my bath I went to my third session of RET therapy. This particular session was to release old beliefs from our parents. The script my therapist reads from blows my mind with how eloquently it is written. It has almost every belief you could imagine that you could have created in your life from your parents, no matter what circumstances you have come from. You take what you need, and leave the rest behind. I was sitting in the chair and she was reading the list of beliefs and said ‘I would rather be right, than happy. If I’m not angry, do I even know who I Am?’ All of the sudden there was no breath in my lungs, and I literally LOST IT. Like snot running out of my nose, couldn’t breathe, ugly cry lost it. 

I now, could so clearly see that I have always seen criticism as the right thing to do ever since I can remember. As well as always being right, as the right thing to do, by criticizing myself and others. Focusing on only criticism and flaws created a consistent flow of anger. 

***I want to quickly note that since starting my inner work 3 years ago, this criticism has gotten A LOT better. I just needed you all to hear how bad it was for a long time to understand where i’m coming from.***

I realized at that exact moment in therapy, that if I was right, I wouldn’t be criticized by others. Being right, became more important than being happy because of how badly I didn’t want to be criticized, or people to see my flaws. I wanted to be perfect 24/7. Because if I was right and perfect, no one could ever be mad at or not Love me. And if I was Loved, I wouldn’t be abandoned. And if I could avoid being abandoned, I would be okay as well as safe and comfortable in my life. That turned into another thought that made me have to stop blinking entirely and sit up in my chair. I don’t know that I have ever cried that hard in my life. I cried harder than when my childhood dog had to be put down, which was one of my worst days on record. I was SOBBING. What made me so distraught was that I realized this: I was focusing on peoples flaws and criticism of them fully, so i could create a story in my mind that they were so horrible, I could justify leaving or cutting off the relationship entirely. I was abandoning them, before they could abandon me. Criticism created anger, and anger justified my behavior. This is what being a professional at running from people and my problems really meant at my core. I also have a acronym for RUNNER, but that will be for another time. 

The interesting thing about these sparks coming together over Time to create answers to questions we ask, is that we usually come to the Awareness we have had it wrong, all along. Especially when we figure out the reasoning behind our pain, patterns, and behaviors. 

Once I could collect myself enough to speak to my therapist, I shared my pattern of thoughts with her as well as my Awareness from yoga a few hours earlier. She was stunned. She cried with me, and held my hands as I shared. She commended me for being so open to my healing and listened as it all poured out of me. Did I still feel a LOT of shame in that moment, even though figuring that out was the biggest Awareness lesson I have had so far in my 31 years? HELL yes. 

Leaving therapy that night I was somber, exhausted, and more at peace than I ever have been, ever. Now that Time had created this conclusion of Awareness, I could fully step into Love. And boy have I stepped into Love! 

Nothing looks the same as it did before. I see beauty in everything around me. Even the paved roads I spend a lot of time driving! I wake up with vigor and energy with a smile on my face, I don’t worry about trivial things I used to, money has started flowing freer into my life in unexpected ways, i started painting, LOVE it, and have found a new way to be creative. I thank my body regularly for the miracle of digesting my food, and that I have legs that work, feet and hands that work, and my health. The love in my heart has deepened in a way I didn’t know possible. So many things have started to become clear to me. This Awareness has been life changing in the last few weeks. 

Once you have Awareness, Time, Love, and a new found perspective it’s time to move onto Action!




I asked a dear friend of mine, Alex who has been part of this podcast, and I part of his podcast, on what Time has taught him. His response was absolutely brilliant.  

‘Time has taught me not to wait. Do the thing. Take the risk. All you have is now. There’s no perfect timing, no waiting worthwhile when it’s regarding putting off a heart dream.’ 

-Alexander Muzio

I asked him ‘So, in essence, Time has taught you to take Action?’ to which he responded, ‘Yes.’ 

Your tools of Awareness, Time, and Love, I have no doubt will call you to Action. You will have come way too far, to not do something about it! 

Action can be something small, and work it’s way up to something bigger. Creating and cultivating these newfound tools will commonly have a lot of emotional release to them. Take Time to process that, be patient with yourself. Just as Awareness takes Time, so do bigger and better Actions. Just like with a lifestyle change, you will gradually start to incorporate Action in. You wouldn’t buy a pair of running shoes and immediately run a marathon- you would take Time prepping for it to be able to take the Action needed to complete the race. 

I have found the easiest way to take Action in my life, is to create a mantra around the very thing I want to see changed. For example, my latest mantra has been ‘I am trust, the abundant energy of life flows easily and freely through me.’ 

During times I start to criticize myself, others, or have an old negative thought pass through my mind, I say that mantra three times. Some days I repeat my mantras almost constantly! 

Your actions also have to be true to you. You are more than welcome to use my mantra. however, creating your own will help you to remember it that much more, and stick with it! 

Maybe your Awareness has taught you that you want to be a better listener. When you have conversations with people, step back and be the observer. Observe what they are saying, taking it in, without thinking of your response back. This is something I have had to get better at myself. 

When I first started being the observer in conversations and wanting to butt in, so I could vomit out my answer, it made my blood pressure rise and heart start to beat fast. Time seemed to go by so slower, or maybe they were talking more than normal. Either way, I thought I was going to die! After they were done speaking I responded back to them accordingly. When the conversation was over I felt zero anxiety. At first my anxiety rose, but afterwards I wasn’t ridden with it, like I had been previously. This was a completely new, emotion, and experience for me. Over Time, I started to take that Action with my conversations with others. It’s interesting now when I talk to people, I can tell if they are dying to speak and not really listening- because their body language reflects what mine used to be. Instead of criticizing them, i try to consciously send them Love.

Remember, it’s also okay to get triggered. Even if we think we have mastered something, or let it go, out of nowhere, can bring up things that may have laid dormant for years. Have some Love for yourself that your Awareness has gotten much better than it used to be. 

Sometimes this Action can even feel quite lonely. When you ask for Awareness into your life, you will start walking in a more positive direction, and dive deeper into who you really are at your core, inherently good. The people you have previously been around may not interest you any longer. You may find that being the observer that the people in your life don’t lift you up like you thought they did. This isn’t to be critical of them, you just vibrate on a a different level. A level of goodness. A level of growth. A level of a healing heart. You may have to let go of friends, family members, partners, spouses, etc. Sometimes this isn’t permanently, it’s just for a Time. Making the choice to step back and be observer for a Time, is sometimes the greatest, bravest, and most courageous Action you can take. Something that I openly did with my family. I was the observer for over 5 years. During this Time, my Awareness grew enough for me to learn forgiveness was not only possible but probable. It has been a slow process, but a process nonetheless. 

The man that I love deeply, I have stepped back from to be the observer for the last few months. And look what has happened! I started my RET Therapy and have had the biggest Awareness lesson of my life come through. I asked, and the Universe has more than answered. I know myself better, am genuinely loving myself more than I ever thought was possible, and in turn I am learning to create small Actions that will keep me in check, and on track. If we end up working it out, I will arrive back into our love and relationship with a clearer head, and that much stronger.  

The last but not least letter of ATLAS, is possibly the most difficult. Surrender. 




Big sigh, and deep breath. Surrender can be SO hard. We all have a level of control freak within us, and it comes out in nasty ways based on our past hurts, disappointments, and trauma. With Surrender, comes trust. Trust that everything will work out the way that it’s supposed to. 

My favorite wise and powerful words by Rumi are: 

Everything is rigged in your favor- so you have nothing to worry about.’ 


Now this is much easier said than done. In my opinion, to Surrender, takes more courage than any of these other pitstops on the ATLAS of life. To surrender means to step into the unfamiliar, unpredictable, and the unknown. Surrender can feel like a huge risk, because we cannot have absolute certainty or guarantees in or of our future days. We won’t know what will happen tomorrow anyway, so why let it take up most of our thoughts? 

Surrender can start with your thoughts. To change your life, you must first begin with changing your thoughts. One of my favorite authors Preethaji, and author of ‘The Four Sacred Secrets’ has this to say about our thoughts: 

As human beings, we have 50-60,000 thoughts a day. That is a lot of thinking. 80-85% of this thinking is old. Out of the 85% close to 70% is negative. Old, habitual, negative thinking. This means you’re experiencing the same life, the same staleness in your relationships, and work because the inner experience is old. The responses that come from this state are also mechanical and habitual. So it’s important we foster an ability and the power to look at our truth, to bring attention to that truth of our inner state, and step out of it. It can be a little difficult for those first time practitioners, but it is a practice. The more you do it, the easier it is for you to recognize your inner truth, and step out of the stressful states. 

It takes Time to recognize the exact emotion that is arising within you. Once you recognize the emotion, you’re not brewing it, not allowing it to grow in your consciousness, not allowing it to become a monster. Because if it becomes a monster, it is what is going to drive your life. 

Your life is a garden. Negative thoughts are weeds. It’s about not letting new weeds grow. Weeds spreading in your consciousness. Weeds are what make you absent to life, and life automatically becomes a suffering state.’ 


Doesn’t that blow your mind?! Close to 70% of our thoughts are negative. Even the word Surrender, can bring up negative thoughts as well as the worst game of all. The ‘What If’ game. We are all professionals at this one. What if i get in a car accident tomorrow? What if he doesn’t really love me? What if I fail the test? What if I’m never successful? What if this falls through? What if I get cancer? What if I never find true love? What if, what if what if?

Well, what if you lived the happiest and fullest life possible because you took the leap of Surrender? You won’t ever know until you try. I have a perfect personal example of this.

For the entire month of July 2019, I went into the Kiersten cave. I didn’t speak to any men, go on any dates, or go out. The only person I saw outside of work was Heather when she was in town for her birthday. I dove deep into my new RET therapy, journaling, writing, and asking the Universe to bring me new Awareness. I can honestly say that July 2019 was the best month of my life. My biggest breakthroughs yet happened just a few weeks before my 31st birthday- in yoga and therapy mid July. The idea for my coffee table book came to me, I read the book ‘The Surrender Experiment’ by Michael Singer, and hired the artist to create the commission for this episode ATLAS. 

It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you Surrender to as Michael puts it ‘beauty of life.’ HIs story of surrender took his life in ways he never could have dreamt up, even if he’d wanted to. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it. I’d say July was also my most productive month yet. A month full of Awareness, Time, Action, Love, and ultimately Surrender. 

When it comes to Love, it may be the most important category to Surrender to. Love is Surrender. And to Love is to Surrender to it. 

Why is it that the people we most try to change are the people we are in relationships with? If we took even a tenth of that energy and put it into healing ourselves, we would actually and productively be able to work through our problems we have with others. Because ultimately our ‘problems’ start within. To truly love another, is not to try and change them, it is to change ourselves. When I learned to be okay with and Love myself, even through my misgivings, imperfections, and flaws- the criticism of myself and others, has literally started to melt away. My trust has also gotten stronger. Like, a lot stronger. I am coming into the Surrender of Love. 

Awareness takes Time, but cultivates Love, Action for change, and Surrendering to that change. And Surrender takes Action to Love, and Time to create Awareness. No matter what order you walk your path on the ATLAS of life, you will gain the greatest wisdom you have ever had, from your own inner knowing, and inherent goodness. 

WESTIES, I hope you enjoyed this episode. I believe in you, and I want to support you in any way I can with what you are currently experiencing on your individual path of your ATLAS. Please never hesitate to reach out, I truly want to hear from you. 

Sara Weintraub is the artist who painted all the women for this episode. I wanted her to paint something other than a white woman. White women are great, too. I just felt with the state our world is currently in, in addition to all that is happening in our country with other races and immigrants, we would be blessed to see their beauty through the creative eyes of an artist. Sara can be found on Instagram @ladyweintraub and her website is www. ladyweintraub.com I will also post this on WEST’s social media channels in addition to my website. 

In writing my coffee table book, I will have a LOT more acronyms to share, so please stay tuned. 

I changed the name of WEST’s Instagram handle to make it a little easier to find. It’s now @westpodcast 



The two books I refer to in this episode are:


Find us on Facebook and Instagram: 

Facebook Page: WEST: Women Empowered Stronger Together

Instagram: @westpodcast

Email: info@womenempoweredstrongertogether.com

(The link to download this episode is in the ‘PODCAST’ tab of this website)

Episode 25: Curly Me!


Episode 25: Curly Me!

On today’s episode we are CELEBRATING this milestone of Episode 25, in addition to celebrating my guest Alyssha, who is on the cover of Utah Business Magazine this month!

From The Utah Business Magazine Article:


Alyssha Dairsow, Cover Of Utah Business Magazine

Alyssha Dairsow, Cover Of Utah Business Magazine

Alyssha Dairsow hasn’t been in Utah long, but she’s highly engaged with her community. And as the founder and executive director at the non-profit Curly Me!, she’s passionate about helping her community celebrate it’s beauty. Focusing on young Black girls ages 5-14. Curly Me! provides mentoring and hosts events that help children of color embrace their best selves. From book clubs to panels to hangouts, she’s building a village around an underrepresented community and empowering them to embrace their uniqueness.

Ms. Dairsow works to provide a platform where the voices in her community are heard, including her own. “Things will not change if I, or anyone else, stays silent,” she says, and laying the foundation for the future of the young Black girls in her community is what she believes will change Utah for the better. “I personally would like to foster diversity in Utah because I would like to live in s state that includes me in major decisions that are made in government, workplaces, and all the way down to the services I receive in a restaurant.”

“I decided to be a reliable resource for parents with Black girls because I noticed there weren’t many fun and reliable resources for our girls,” says Ms. Dairsow, describing where the idea for the nonprofit started. “I am confident Curly Me! will continue to grow into bigger and better events and outreach that will cross state lines and country borders.”

Founder of Curly Me! Alyssha Dairsow

Founder of Curly Me! Alyssha Dairsow

From Curly Me! website:


A resource for families with children of color, specifically girls ages 5-14 years old. We hold quarterly events and mentorship to help educate, empower and encourage them to be their best selves.

Curly Me! Email:


Curly Me! Instagram:



Upcoming Events For Curly Me!:

Curls With A Purpose Hair & Fashion Show

Friday September 13, 2019

The Wave

32 Exchange Place Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

7:00-8:30 PM MDT

IMG-4197 (1).JPG

Find us on Facebook and Instagram: 

Facebook Page: WEST: Women Empowered Stronger Together

Instagram: @westpodcast

Email: info@womenempoweredstrongertogether.com

(The link to download this episode is in the ‘PODCAST’ tab of this website)

Episode 24: Well With Abigail


Episode 24: Well WIth Abigail

Abigail is a creator of onsite corporate yoga and wellness programs for health-conscious companies. She helps busy professionals find true balance by achieving their highest level of wellness while maintaining successful careers.

After 16 years in her own successful corporate career, Abigail followed a calling to provide a deeper level of service to busy professionals. Her own yoga and nutrition practice helped her recover remarkably well from a stroke in 2012, and that’s when sharing yoga and facilitating wellness activities became her new career path and passion.

“Vibrant health and a sense of well-being are essential components of a happy and high-performing employee base,” she says. “Providing the support that propels people into better health is the best way I can make a positive impact in my community.”

When Abigail is not practicing or teaching yoga, she can be found either hiking throughout Utah’s beautiful landscape with her family, or creating healthy & nourishing recipes in her favorite room at home: the kitchen. She lives in Orem, Utah with her husband and their 8 children.

Abigail holds a B.S. in Business Management. She completed her holistic health coach certification at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is an RYT200 Yoga Alliance Instructor. She considers herself a life-long student and is currently working on a 500 hour yoga training as well as earning a Master Herbalist certification.

Abigail would LOVE to hear from you WESTIES. Please connect with her on any of her social media.

Instagram: @wellwithabigail

Abigail’s Website:


Abigail Atkinson

Abigail Atkinson

In January 2012, Abigail had a stroke that was caused from an injury to her neck. This injury created a small tear on her vertebral artery. This is called a vertebral artery dissection- which is a small tear on the inside lining of the artery that runs up your cervical spine- which feeds blood to your brain. The tear caused a clot and affected the blood flow to her brain., initially causing her stroke.

When the EMT arrived on the scene she was still conscious, walking around, and could still speak normally, even though very dizzy. The EMT told her that she was only 35 years old, and too young to have a stroke, and should drive herself to the hospital. He told her she was just having vertigo and to lie down, since his wife had vertigo the week prior. Had she not listened to her gut, and insisted to the EMT to take her to the hospital right away, she would not have survived. Upon arriving at the hospital, the neurologist knew immediately she was having a stroke.

During her recovery Abigail suffered from nystagmus which is a horizontal movement of the eyes quickly back and forth which causes dizziness, and still has double vision on her right side from time to time. Abigail met a woman in recovery who decided to name her affected side ‘Rose’, and so she decided to name her affected side ‘Grace’ because she had to relax into grace in order to make a full recovery.

After only 1 month, she was released from the hospital., only having spent one week in ICU. Within 3 months Abigail was back to her yoga practice, and within 9 months had her drivers license back. She attributes her recovery to her healthy diet, lifestyle, and the lessons she has learned from her yoga practice. To speak up for yourself, honor the mind/body connection, and to follow your intuition.


Can you believe the above photos, that Abigail is 42, a mother of EIGHT, AND Grandmother of 2?! Hottest. Mom. EVER.

You can catch Abigail’s adaptive yoga classes at the following studio:

The Yoga Underground in Provo, Utah:


Abigail will also be teaching a workshop at the Southern Utah Yoga Festival this year on November 1-2, 2019. You can sign up for her workshop here:


Abigail also does private at-home or corporate office visits teaching yoga. You can schedule a private lesson for you or your employees here:


Find us on Facebook and Instagram: 

Facebook Page: WEST: Women Empowered Stronger Together

Instagram: @westpodcast

Email: info@womenempoweredstrongertogether.com

(The link to download this episode is in the ‘PODCAST’ tab of this website)


Episode 23: Radical Forgiveness On Go Ask Alex


Episode 23: Radical Forgiveness On Go Ask Alex

In this episode I share my interview as a guest on my friend Alex’s podcast. This, was my first time sharing my story publicly outside of me sharing it as your host on WEST. It was a beautiful and heart warming experience.

Yours truly, your host of WEST: Me.

Yours truly, your host of WEST: Me.


Go Ask Alex is available on iTunes, and anywhere you get your podcasts.

Instagram: @goaskalexpodcast

Find us on Facebook and Instagram: 

Facebook Page: WEST: Women Empowered Stronger Together

Instagram: @westpodcast

Email: info@womenempoweredstrongertogether.com

(The link to download this episode is in the ‘PODCAST’ tab of this website)

Episode 22: Westies Dinner, Volume One


Episode 22: Westies Dinner, Volume One

This kicks off SEASON TWO of WEST! Can’t believe we’re here. To get S2 off to a great start I’m sharing volume one of WESTIES DINNER. Every 5 guests I have in the podcast I will have over dinner in my home, it will be recorded, and ultimately turned into an episode! This is to help you as a listener better acquainted with my guests, as well as my guests a chance to meet each other in real life. 

I had so much fun putting this together. Thank you to Heather of Episode 2: Go Live Yourself, Kayla of Episode 4: Strength Through Recovery, Charam Of Episode 6: Life After Tragedy, Rebecca Of Episode 8: Different Ability Not Disability, and Denise of Episode 10: Mother Bear Beginnings. 

Find us on Facebook and Instagram: 

Facebook Page: WEST: Women Empowered Stronger Together

Instagram: @westpodcast

Email: info@womenempoweredstrongertogether.com

(The link to download this episode is in the ‘PODCAST’ tab of this website)

Episode 21: What Your LGBTQ+ Child And Community Want You To Know, Part Seven


What Your LGBTQ+ Child And Community Want You To Know, Part Seven

This episode wraps up this mini series! It’s been an absolute HONOR to create all of this. The people I have met are some of the most wonderful, inspiring, amazing, strong, bad ASS individuals I have ever come in contact with. We are going out with a bang to finish up this series with Kade and his mother Jenny. I thought it would be great to get a mother/son perspective, Kade’s perspective, Jenny’s perspective, and their perspective as a whole.

Kade (Becky) and his mother Jenny.

Kade (Becky) and his mother Jenny.

Kade is transgender, raised in the Mormon church, and has since left the Mormon religion with his mother Jenny. Kade is also a film maker and is working on a documentary series about the Queer community in Salt Lake City, UT.


Kade can be reached here:

Instagram: @kadewhittle

Facebook: Kade Whittle

Find us on Facebook and Instagram: 

Facebook Page: WEST: Women Empowered Stronger Together

Instagram: @westpodcast

Email: info@womenempoweredstrongertogether.com

(The link to download this episode is in the ‘PODCAST’ tab of this website)

Episode 20: What Your LGBTQ+ Child And Community Want You To Know, Part Six

IMG-3604 (1).PNG

Episode 20: What Your LGBTQ+ Child And Community Want You To Know, Part Six

In part six of this series, I interview Aalliyah and Bradley. Both of them are African American, adopted, raised in strict Mormon households, and share very vulnerably what they have been through as part of the gay community in Utah.

Aalliyah Ann

Aalliyah Ann

Aalliyah Ann is making her debut at the Salt Lake Acting Company this year. She is a graduate of Weber State University’s Musical Theatre Program. Her Weber State credits include: Smokey Joe’s Cafe, 6 Characters In Search Of An Author, Make Me A Song. Aalliyah plans on taking her talents and skills out to L.A. Disney, Universal Studios, and various Cruise Lines. Come see her at SLAC as part of Saturday’s Voyeur playing June 26-September 1.



Saturday's Voyeur is an annual musical satire produced by Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC) in Salt Lake CityUtahUnited States. Each year a new show is written to parody contemporary life, politics, and religion in Utah. Saturday’s Voyeur was created in 1978 by Nancy Borgenicht and Allen Nevins, who continue to co-write the show each year.

The name Saturday’s Voyeur is itself a parody of the production Saturday's Warrior, by Lex de Azevedo. With The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints being prevalent in Utah culture it often becomes a dominant topic in the annual production. Poking fun at the doctrine, customs, and church figures of the religion through musical satire is used as comic relief for church members and non-members alike.

Saturday's Voyeur is considered SLAC's annual fundraiser and the theater is converted to cabaret style, where patrons are permitted to bring their own food and beverages.




Bradley is overjoyed to be participating in his first production at Salt Lake Acting Company! Bradley has returned to theatre after a close to 10 year hiatus a few years ago and hasn't looked back. You may have seen him in productions around the Utah valley Including as Kevin in In The Heights and in the You Bet Your Black Ass Broadway Cabaret with the Good Company Theatre and as Citizen Chauvelin in Scarlet Pimpernel at the Hopebox Theatre. Bradley is also part of Saturday’s Voyeur at SLAC.


Find us on Facebook and Instagram: 

Facebook Page: WEST: Women Empowered Stronger Together

Instagram: @westpodcast

Email: info@womenempoweredstrongertogether.com

(The link to download this episode is in the ‘PODCAST’ tab of this website)