My name is Serena Hope Jones
For short... I'm a mom, a wife, a real estate Broker, a real estate educator and professional coach.
I'm also a foodie. I'm an investor. I'm a doer... of all things that I want to do, and nothing more.
I'm snarky, sarcastic, knowledge seeking, determined, driven and I can talk your ear off about things I have a passion for.... Thus... this blog.
So, why did I start this blog?
Here are a couple of my favorite products... Check the products page for more, or follow the topics of interest to see more of my favorite tips, tricks and items that have changed my life.
Even though they're affiliate links, that I may benefit from... these are items that I truly recommend.
There just is no way to explain this journey, without getting personal.
What made me decide to make such drastic changes in my life?
Once upon a time, I was a very healthy person. I worked out regularly, despite my distaste for the actions. I ate healthy… or healthy adjacent, because of my distaste for exercise. I thought I was doing all the right things.
So what changed?
I was a stay at home mom for over a decade… time to plan and cook wholesome meals wasn't an issue.
Once the kids went to school, and I realized that the PTA was NOT my thing, I decided to get a job. Much to my surprise, my little job turned in to a thriving real estate career… turning into much more than a job, but instead a passion of mine.
I quickly went from stay at home mom to a dedicated real estate agent, then Broker and now I head up several Broker level projects through the local associations and the state, as well as running a brokerage and training and coaching agents across the state.
So yeah…. My idea of just getting a job, may have snowballed a little.
Suffice to say, my focus was no longer on my health… my health wasn't just in the back seat, I had left it on a street corner somewhere and drove off without it even in my rear view mirror.
Yes… I was downright unhealthy!
We went out to eat, almost daily, sometimes twice a day. I tried to make good choices when we went out… I opted for healthier or lighter options, sometimes choosing steamed broccoli instead of fries ("Sometimes" being the key word there). I preferred veggie filled plates over fatty plates (except fries, those are my kryptonite). I even left half my plate sitting there most of the time. Just because I liked quality food, didn't mean I needed to pig out, afterall. Why do restraurants have to over feed you?
Despite my pitiful efforts, I grew more and more unhealthy…
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I was I was big… but I was far from 'meaty', lets just say.
I was 30lbs overweight. My cholesteral was high. My blood sugar was less than ideal. I had hypothyroidism. I had been through several bouts of Shingles, and even attempted the vaccine (which was the most horrible experience of my life, but that's a story for another day).
On top of the obvious, I didn't feel good either. I wasn't sleeping well. I was irritable. I was always breathless. I did NOT handle stress well. I was losing my hair… Overall, I was a sad unhealthy person!
Then the pandemic changed my life.
While I was physically unhealthy and feeling it, so was my husband. He had finally reached the point where he was ready to see a doctor, because he was just plain suffering. With most of his ailments centered around his gut (shockingly, as he lived on pizza, burgers, ham sandwiches and processed crap), he decided to see a specialist and made an appointment for March 2020.
That's right…. You know what happened in March 2020… the country shut down. Seeing a specialist was no longer as easy as it used to be. His appointment was pushed and pushed until around September, when it was just plain canceled.
By October of 2020, as we sat on our porch sipping coffee and discussing very important things in life… when he said magical words to me. "I need you to help me. I'll do whatever you tell me to do, as long as you can fix my gut."
We'd been married nearly 2 decades, but this is the first time that he volunteered to let me put him on a healthy eating plan. This man would rather die than avoid cheese.
This wasn't just something he needed, I needed it too! But it's not easy to eat healthy when the people around you want burgers, pizza, donuts, cake, soda… It's not easy to choose salad over spaghetti. It's not easy to say no to french fries and beer, something that was a comfort meal for me, when the stress was so overwhelming.
I needed this push, this encouragement, this permission to overhaul our lives.
That day, I took the first step down the path to health. I was half a year into my 40's and extremely disappointed in my health. I knew that in order for me to make changes, I needed to know WHY I needed those changes. I was SO tired of blindly following fad diets, and I LOATHE the idea of counting calories. I knew that getting healthy needed to be a whole lifestyle change, not just a roller coaster of eating salads because it was lower in calories… or fat, or meats, or vegetables or whatever it is I'm supposed to avoid, depending on who's diet belief I'm following…. So the beginning of my change needed to start by educating myself on health. I didn't want to learn about why some diet works, I wanted to know more about the gut and how digestion works. So, I bought a book that changed my life (in the side here). It was the hardest read I've ever endured… pure science, biology and study based… I loved every single page! Finally things clicked! Everything started to make sense and the changes I started with, worked, FAST.
Since the pandemic began, there have been a lot of changes, not only in the way we eat, but the way we live. I thought that my busy life, full of fast food was the issue with my health. Well, that proved not to be the case at all… Eating 'healthy' at home had no positive affect on me. Fortunately, I got the push I needed, and through a lot of research and testing out products, foods and methods, I have discovered how to put my family on a healthy track.
This blog is about my journey to health. I decided that even though I may not be the expert on your health. Even though I'm not a doctor. Even though I'm just over here trying to live my own life, but healthier… Perhaps my journey can inspire someone else to get healthy, to find their own path.
I want to share with you what I am doing to get healthier, and more importantly, why I'm doing it this way. In order for me to make a real 'stick with it' change… I need to know WHY… So, that's what this is about. I'll explain WHY I eat something, take something or do something. It doesn't mean that I'm right… There seems to be a study to support anything out there, so I'm sure that some people will disagree with something I say, and that's ok. From the research that I've done, and the understanding that I have… and the personal experience I'm getting… This is what works or doesn't work, for me and my family.
I want to share the food I'm making, because it's not just delicious, but there's nutritional reason in every bite… and I need a place to keep track of all of my favorite recipes. You'll find that I don't stick to exact measurements very often (baking may be an exception). I like to experiment with food. I also don't like to restrict myself, so if you're on the gluten free, dairy free, meat free, sugar free or whatever free bandwagon… You'll need to find substitutions that work for you. I don't mind some of those alternatives, but this page is for my tastes, like it or leave it.
I will also share with you some exercise inspiration, and tools that have helped me lose weight and find flexibility and strength. Like I said, I loathe exercise…. So, finding something that works for me helps me stay on track.
My exact path is probably not the right one for everyone… But without all of the people that inspired me to find my path, I wouldn't be here…. I just hope that I can inspire someone elses unique journey.
Please note: This website will have products that I may receive compensation on in some way, but not all of them.… My intention is to share products that I truly believe in, but I'm also all for sharing an exceptional product and making a commission on it. BUT I will never recommend ANY product that I don't support 100%. I have been approached by many companies to represent them, but I refuse to dilute the value behind my word. Everything I speak about comes highly recommended from me, whether I make something off of it or not.
I wish you nothing but health, peace and happiness! I hope you find your healthy path.