As the world is shedding a great deal of light on health and wellness a growing number of people, particularly women are falling for fad diets. Many of these diets have been proven to work in the short-term but not sustainable, however most are willing to try due to dissatisfaction with their current body weight and situation.  The yo-yo dieting mentality has been well explained and discussed, I have even heard about this on the Oprah show.  The bottom line with yo-yo dieting is that the weight loss is achieved, sometimes quickly, but when the diet ends one will gain back the lost weight and more.  Any diet that is unsustainable falls into the yo-yo category.


The bases for many diets are very restrictive which leads to the ultimate failure.  This failure can imprint the mentality of the need to “do better” or “try harder.” This feeling in most can lead to feeling depressed and hopeless. As the thought of constant dieting is the up and down of each attempt, can this ebb and flow lead to problematic eating.  This sense of failure and the need to try harder can lead to disordered eating where the restrictions become more intense and more time is focused on food.


Yes being health conscious, learning about how to eat and how to combine foods to achieve optimal health is a positive approach. Though many fad diets do not teach about nutrition but rather restriction.  If more people understood the purpose of each food type or macronutrient and what they do for and against your body then those attempting to improve their health could make informed decisions about their food intake. Being informed and making good food choices are very different from a list of “do” and “don’t” foods without explanation.  In addition, to how these diets make you feel they also alter the way in which your metabolism functions. Restrictive eating causes your body to react and continue to function with the nutrients given which often times are incomplete, lead to malnutrition and ultimately leads to malfunctioning of metabolism. In the end this can also contribute to weight gain or plateauing due to malnutrition.


In future I will drive further into food choices, macronutrients and what they do for your body. In addition, I will begin to discuss micronutrients or vitamins and supplements and the role they play in our nutrition. Also, I will discuss what yo-yo dieting does to your body as well because it does not only affect how you think about dieting and your health/weight.  Making informed choices lead to better health, less restriction and sustainable lifestyles.


Stay tuned and have a great day full of informed choices and healthy lifestyle.

What Is In Your Vitamins?

Do your vitamins have added sugar?-2

Were you aware that those yummy gummies have added sugars.  Why do vitamins need sugar? Well actually they don’t. I encourage you to get familiar with label reading as this could help alleviate ingesting unnecessary ingredients.  Vitamins should have close to the recommended daily intake of minerals. Depending on your particular need, vitamins do have variations. For instance, the focus on women’s or men’s health as well as geared toward pregnancy or hair/nail growth.

However, to my surprise I was offered to try a particular brand of gummy vitamins.  My friend spoke highly about how good they taste and which helps her take them daily. Without hesitation I popped two in my mouth. Of course as I am chewing I start label reading. Let me warn you folks this is not the ideal way to label read, lol!! Read labels first as the first thing I noticed were the label glaring at me showing 2g of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates in my vitamins!! WTH I thought carbs were only in food and vitamins are not food. Wait, it gets better, I kept reading and the carbs were all sugar, yes 2g of sugar in my vitamin!! No wonder my friend thought they were so yummy, of course they are they have SUGAR in them..

I learned a valuable lesson that day. First of all, if it seems too good then likely it is. Second, read the label first. Lastly, as I continued to read the label I found that the vitamin fell extremely short of providing adequate vitamin consumption for the day. I mentioned that to her and she responded, “that is probably why I take a bunch every day.” Well now that 2g of sugar just skyrocketed in her best attempt to get the recommended daily allowance.  So imagine increasing the consumption in your mind to be the healthiest possible and the opposite is occurring. You are adding sugar.

Today’s takeaway note is READ LABELS before ingesting food, drinks or supplements. Word to the wise, you do not need sugar in your vitamins. This is not how it is supposed to work!!

Chime in and leave a comment about your vitamins and if you found sugars added.

Enjoy your day.

Finding Time For Your Health

Today’s way of life is very fast pace with little time in between for self-care. Most of the time I hear people say “I am too busy” when it comes to health and wellness. Though, being busy may be true, I have to say if it is something you truly want you will find time.  Finding the time may not be an easy task but evaluating your situation in order to optimize your time is essential.

I am the queen of making things work when it feels like things are stacked against you. I had to evaluate my own goals and where I wanted to be in life as I wanted to work on health and fitness. Did I mention that I was also the queen of excuses?  Well no more. Even though it seemed like I had no time in the day I made it happen. For instance this is my schedule.  I work 10 hours a day, drive each way for 1 hour, sleep for 8 hours which leaves me 4 hours of leisure time a day.  That includes getting ready for work, coming home making dinner, etc.  I kept saying I was too tired, too busy when really I was disorganized and not goal oriented.  However I turned it around and now come home to work out for 1 hour in the comfort of my own home.

I have included some tips on how to find time in your day for the things you want.

  • Set a goal

First off what do you want to accomplish and why? Answering this will help to reduce or eliminate excuses. Excuses are the biggest roadblock we have in life.  Believe it or not saying “I don’t have time” is an excuse.

  • Prioritize

Decide what is a must do and what you can cut from your day. Of course going to work is at the top of the priority list, however, hanging out at the water cooler with your co-workers may not be.  If health and wellness becomes part of your priorities then you will easily place it in your day.

  • Remove needlessness

Again we engage in activities daily that add no value to our lives. For instance, hours of television watching, scrolling through social media or searching the web. Health and wellness on the other hand is not a needless activity as it adds value to your life and can wholeheartedly replace some of these other no brainer tasks.

  • Set a timer

I was told by a woman who also runs a tight ship and she told me to set a timer with my priority tasks so that I do not begin to wonder away and waste time. By holding yourself accountable to the task at hand you are able to actually complete your goals.

  • Consistency

Being consistent in all you do will help you to grow habits. No different than your hours of internet surfing or tv watching.  However, in this case you will have something to show for when you are done.

My all-time saying is you will have to find time for something. Is it better to find time to make a doctor’s appointment due to unnecessary illness or make time to get into shape and take care of yourself to ward off those unnecessary things? The choice is yours to make



Spirituality and Mental Health


Mental health concerns often wear down the entire person. Whether you are dealing with anxiety, depression, relational concerns or severe mental illness such as Bipolar or Schizophrenia the entire self is impacted. When one is unable to operate at full capacity limitations ensue and problems eventually erupt.  This can take form in negative thinking, weight gain, health problems related to stress which ultimately deteriorates the person you once knew.

These life stressors tend to take a bigger impact on a person when they allow themselves to be at the center of the problem. What that means is they carry the world and the world’s problems on their shoulders.  Over time one cannot sustain such pressure, perfection or focus.  Therefore, by seeking outside of one’s self affords the ability to alleviate some of the burden.

Have you ever wondered how some people are able to go through tragedy and recover while others are destroyed? Like me I am sure you have.  The answer is complexly simple.  It is simple as the plan is easy to follow. However, complex as you have to believe in a concept that you can only trust in your mind and has no physical presence in this world.

Spirituality is just that. Something you believe in but are unable to put a physical existence to. You just have to believe.  That for many is the difficult part of trusting that it is true.  If you believe that something is going to help you through a tragedy then you will look around you for proof – something good will result.  The opposite is also true.  If you feel like nothing will help you through the tragedy then you also will look around for proof – identifying all that is wrong in your life as a result of the tragedy.

Now imagine that you have faith in a spiritual entity and that all burdens are not yours but for this entity to provide aid in working through. This equates to the burden, weight and stress to lift from your shoulders and upon this spiritual helper and guider.  Wow doesn’t that feel more comfortable, I feel the weight lifting already!!

When the world’s pressure is not only riding on you, then life becomes more manageable, tasks become easier and adopting the idea that “things are meant to happen” alleviate overbearing stress and guilt from the unavoidable. Once you are able to believe this is possible the complexity of the task is reduced and one can then follow the plan.

Following the plan is just the reminder that you are not the bearer of the world’s weight, things “just happen” sometimes and that even in a tragedy something good can come about. The nice thing about the plan is it does not change as it is all about positive thinking, plain and simple.  If you are a bit lost and are thinking “how can I possibly turn a tragedy into something good?” Find articles or books to read with stories similar to your current struggle and really focus on how the person evaluates and manages the situation.  How do they come out victorious?  The one sure fire thing in this world is if you cannot figure it out there are enough resources to find a blue print and reproduce it and change it until it is authentic for you.

Go out and be positive thinkers, believe in something outside of yourself that is capable of handling your life stressors and overcome your tragedies.

Meal Planning Made Simple


I know there are a lot of meal plans out there and often times they are pretty complex and can make you feel lost if you do not know much about nutrition and how it fuels your body. I have tried many types of meal plans and several have worked. However, what has worked for me are ones that are simple, easily paired foods are incorporated and I don’t have to stay in the kitchen all day.

Nutrition is a vital part of life in general and certainly important if trying to lose weight, improve health or work around food allergies. Before deciding to start a meal plan you must set a few goals in terms of what will this food plan provide for you. Otherwise, it is a meal plan that you can easily ditch when things get challenging. You must know why you are doing this plain and simple.

I am all about the basics; staples that you put in many meals throughout the day and some that are easily accessible when in a hurry. I meal prep on Sundays to afford reduced amount of time I stand in front of the stove.

A common food breakdown is to get an average of 1300-1500 calories per day if you are working toward weight loss. The macro ratio that is often suggested is 40% carbohydrates, 20% healthy fats and 40% proteins. This is certainly adjustable depending on your own needs, desired outcome and fitness level.

If you are interested about how to get a personalized meal plan feel free to email me at or send me a personal message on FB @michelledawn or IG @drscoggins_healthandwelness. Click here Simple_meal_plan for a reformatted excel sheet to give an example of how keep your ratios calculated and it proportion.  Tweak it yourself if feeling ready to do it on your own.


Carbohydrates: The Connection Between Mood, Snacking And Weight Management

Managing life while monitoring mood and weight can certainly be a daunting task. However, knowing food combinations and how to eat along with when to eat can be the key to success. Of course the craze is all about eating a specific amount of meals and calories, yet the type and mixture of food is just as important. Today the focus is on carbohydrates and how our bodies need and use them.


This is a chemical naturally made in our brains. It is also a key component in mood management. Medications such as Zoloft or Prozac used for depression work on the brain by maintaining the amount of serotonin available for the brain allowing for improved mood quality. Serotonin is also involved in satiation, the full and satisfied feeling achieved after eating a meal.


As the referenced article explained, think about going to a restaurant and snacking on bread prior to your meal being served. Often times when your meal arrives you begin thinking “my eyes are bigger than my stomach” and you already feel full. This is due to carbohydrates naturally creating the production of serotonin. Eating meals with complex carbohydrates such as vegetables help to improve mood functioning and satiation. However, timing is also vital. The reason is our bodies naturally love to feel good so the body tends to crave carbs in order to self-regulate moods. Also, people may tend to “self-medicate” with carbs in an attempt to manage moods. Think to yourself when you eat pasta or sweet potatoes there is a calming feeling that comes over you about an hour after the meal. That is serotonin working. It was also suggested to eat carbohydrates with dinner as a way to reduce nighttime snacking. So again timing is key as I am not suggesting to graze on carbs all day to stay happy but can give you an idea why in the afternoon you may crave chips or unhealthy snack foods.


If you are able to understand why you snack then managing snack time can become a little easier and more productive when managing weight.   As studies show obesity has been linked to high fat, empty calorie and simple carbohydrates. I will break this down a bit to provide better understanding. High fat foods are not the issues as there are “healthy fats” so knowing the difference will help along the way. Avoid trans fats as much as possible, which are often in processed foods and stick more to polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These are contained in foods such as avocados, nuts, nut/seed butters, salmon, olives/olive oil, ground flax seeds/chia seeds, and tuna. Empty calories are included in most junk food, as they do not contain vital nutrients. This includes sugary drinks, candy, chips, and many processed foods. Simple carbohydrates are also included in the junk food section as the body breaks down the substance that lacks nutrients and thereby is just converted into sugar without providing anything to the body, that is except extra weight in the long run. Now knowing about the snack foods you can make better choices in carb intake. As I mentioned earlier eating complex carbs for dinner such as sweet potatoes, quinoa, or brown rice can help to reduce after dinner snacking.

Weight Management

Knowing what to eat, when to eat and the combinations of food can certainly help to control weight. Protein is an essential component in any meal plan as it helps to build and maintain muscles in addition to helping you stay full longer. Carbs as explained above help monitor moods, may increase snacking and obesity and is essential for energy. Fats also help to regulate system performance and there is a lot of research about high fat/low carb diets that really work. If you are a calorie counter then I say great job as that is the beginning, however, breaking it down further to know your combination of macros (carb/fat/protein ratio) will also afford the ability to better monitor weight, mood and overall healthy operation of the body. I will discuss in another post about macros and tracking to step it up a notch.


The bottom line that I continue to discuss is using food as a way to fuel our bodies properly. Food is not intended to fill emotional deficits or comfort us. Having an emotional connection to food is likely to fuel obesity rather than a healthy body. Finding other ways to emotionally soothe oneself is crucial to health and weight management.   Thereby, if you are an “emotional eater” I would suggest finding other ways to soothe emotions and only think about food as fuel.

New Year’s Resolution Rubbish


It is January 1st and it’s on everyone’s mind to improve health, wellness or loose weight. Good intentions are always at the start of this process, however, most of us know that these resolutions never last. I want to talk about ways to start off this New Year right and without losing motivation and remaining focused on life change.

Do not label change as a “New Year’s Resolution”

Resolutions are made to fail, rather change your perception and begin a “lifestyle change.” Lifestyle changes are meant to last for the long-term. Lifestyle changes are meant to have ebb and flow where things are not always the same or perfect. You must still be able to have fun, experience imperfection and be human. Many times New Year’s resolutions do not afford this flexibility.

Start Small and Improve Over Time

New Year’s resolutions often times are set up to fail as the goal is too specific and too drastic. Starting off small such as learning to count calories/macros or workout for 30 minutes 3 times a week are the way to start rather than “I want to lose 50lbs.”

Know Why You Want To Change

Again a set-up for failure is when the reasons behind change are weak. I have heard many times “I want to lose weight.” That is a great goal but what will the weight loss help with and how will it improve your life. Knowing the “why” behind the choice will help you at times when motivation is low. This is a surefire way to renew yourself over-and-over again.


Don’t get me wrong making change and working to improve your life is great but can serve as a double edge sword if not properly prepared. Making a lifestyle change can take place at any time as opposed to a New Year’s resolution. Like for myself I decided to incorporate my current lifestyle change in July and have remained active in this change. The bottom line is change can occur on any day of the year, start small and know why you are making this change.