What does it mean to be healthy? How can we live healthier lives? The authors of On Her Plate share their wisdom on women’s health, plant-based diets, and how to incorporate healthier choices into your day-to-day life. The book offers real-world advice from women who are health professionals, fitness professionals, nutritionists, and wellness practitioners.
It wasn’t until I became a group fitness instructor over ten years ago that I finally changed my poor eating habits. Prior to that, I used my busy work schedule and high metabolism as excuses for not making healthier food choices.
Reading On Her Plate has helped me become even more mindful of what I put into my body and how it affects me. The book offers the perfect combination of education and inspirational stories to lead you down a healthier path.
This interview highlights some of the motivational women featured in On Her Plate.
Co-Author: Charleyne Oulton
- You've co-authored ten(!) books with GBR. Did you have several books on the go at the same time, and did you find it challenging writing chapters for all of them?
Although my life is very busy, and I am constantly juggling my work and home life, I love to write and share my experiences and find it therapeutic to do so. When I first made the decision to publish with GBR, I decided to jump right in and listen to my intuition. When opportunities to co-write arise that align with me and my mission, I say, “YES.” In two years, I've been fortunate to be published numerous times. Juggling chapters, deadlines, editing, and project management takes organization but has ultimately been fun. I find that each project works together as a whole, and as I write my contribution for one book, I find inspiration for another!
- In your chapter for On Her Plate, you mention that you are a big fan of using what's already in your fridge, freezer, pantry, and garden. What are some of your go-to meals/snacks that use the things you already have?
Currently my children are twelve, thirteen, and fifteen If we are not at work and school, we are at sports or commuting. Our actual time at home is very limited. If I want my kids and family to eat wholesome, I have to meal prep. To save on expenses, I use what I have on hand. My family loves trail mixes, which I find to be an easy and healthy grab-and-go snack. I can make it ahead of time and have it ready, and I can add a little of "this" and a little of "that." It could be dried fruit, nuts, a handful of cereal, some pretzels or seeds, etc. It creates a healthy snack for all of us. I am also a huge fan of making chili or soup in my crock pot — this is an excellent way to use up what I have in my pantry or fridge!
- How did you reach the decision to become an online coach? Did you encounter any obstacles when you first started?
I have always shared my life publicly: my triumphs, experiences, and challenges. I believe it truly takes a village, and I am honoured to share my journey with the world in hopes to help another mom realize her worth and carve out some time for herself amongst the mom hustle. I decided to turn what I was already doing into a business because I realized my own time is limited and valuable. I struggled with guilt in the beginning, thinking that I had no right to charge money for my time. But as my "hobby" turned into "work," I remembered I could not afford to work for free. It is my goal to help other busy moms remember to take a moment to remind themselves right now that, regardless of their current responsibilities, they are doing a phenomenal job. I'm so lucky to spend my time helping others!
- What does living the #GBRAuthorLife mean to you?
Living the GBRAuthorLife means to live a life surrounded by inspirational and supportive women. I have developed some beautiful friendships and feel so supported always! It does not matter if it's a professional or personal success or struggle, my GBR family is always there for me! To listen and to lean on!
About The Author
Charleyne is a confident, happy, mom of three teenagers who lives on beautiful Vancouver Island, BC. She is genuine, experienced, and passionate about creating and maintaining a life full of grace and joy. She is a member of the Royal Canadian Navy, an appreciated health and wellness coach, and award-winning author even through the busy and beautiful chaos of raising a family. It is her purpose to inspire women, and specifically the busy, overworked, and exhausted mothers around the world to remember their personal strength and that they, along with us all, are deserving of a life filled with health, happiness, and harmony.
Connect with Charley on Instagram: @coachcharley.brown
Co-Author: Allison Marschean
- Why do you think many people who are struggling with fertility often keep it to themselves?
Now that I know so many people struggle in this area, I'm actually not sure why we don't talk about it more openly these days! I think it boils down to one's own feelings and how those feelings are generated by a sense of sorrow — the kind of sorrow you don't feel like you can share or want to share with anyone else — especially not those who aren't having a tough time carrying babies to term!
When I reflect on why I didn't discuss it with people when I was going through miscarriage after miscarriage and even when I started the reproductive endocinology visits and process, I think I didn't for a couple of reasons:
First, whether we realize it or not, I think every couple wants to be able to reproduce the way we were created to. So when you find out the reason why you are unable to reproduce the way you thought you would, it's a crushing revelation. It hurts so badly. All you can see around you are people who are making it happen the "normal" way, and that hurts so much. Who'd want to share that with all those people who don't appear to have a problem??
Secondly, there comes a time in some journeys when you just don't want to say anything for fear the process might fail. For instance, I remember when I was attending a baby shower and I was a day or two away from finishing my first trimester. I was super excited because it was the farthest I'd ever gotten in pregnancy, but I didn't want to tell anyone because this pregnancy may not work out either! I recall another guest had reached the start of her second trimester that day and excitedly shared it with the group. I was excited for her, but also excited and nervous for myself. That pregnancy of mine ended in miscarriage. I was so glad I hadn't told anyone. I basically hid the pain and grief from people who didn't appear to be having any challenges. You know, people who probably wouldn't understand.
The same held true once I began IVF. If readers haven't read my story in On Her Plate, I really encourage them to! I kept a journal throughout my fertility process, so I've got a pretty good story to share AND some helpful tips!
Our journey was NOT an easy one. There were several failed attempts and set-backs early on. This was another reason to keep quiet . . . after a while, I decided, “Don't tell anyone anything until they can see I'm pregnant for themselves.” If you don't tell anyone about your follicle counts or the stimulation treatments or the crazy long needles filled with progesterone that you or your husband have to inject into your rear end or even egg retrieval and egg count, and the process fails, then there's no one to have to tell that it didn't work out. Right?
I'm sure some elect not to talk about their fertility struggles because sometimes people who don't know what it's like don't really get it. They talk as if it's not the end of the world. Trust me, when it's you, it does feel like it is the end of the world and the pain cuts deep. When you find out you can't do the very thing you thought you could do, it's pretty rough.
I never felt ashamed; I was just a bit depressed for a while. I'm sure some people don't talk about it because they are ashamed though. Before my emotional turning point, I found myself in a place where I was just envious of everyone who had zero idea what we were going through, and it made me angry. They had no idea how much time, money, or physical and emotional pain we'd invested in something they could do for free. Sounds cruel, but the emotions were raw for a long time.
- What was your contingency plan if the in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments were not successful?
Honestly, I don't recall thinking about that. I wasn't in a place mentally or emotionally to even consider contingencies like being childless, adopting a child, or finding a surrogate. Those contingencies actually frightened me. It was IVF or nothing. Eventually, if ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) couldn't help us, I would have more than likely arrived at a place where I was willing to accept those options, but not while we were going through it.
- Your chapter in On Her Plate shares a lot of trials you went through: experiencing several miscarriages, undergoing a lengthy IVF process, and discovering an autoimmune disorder. Did you have a hard time getting this out on paper or was it easy for you to share your story?
Great question! By the time I'd said "yes" to the On Her Plate project as a contributing author, I was in a place where I knew my story would help people struggling the way I did. So, no. It wasn't difficult.
- What does living the #GBRauthorlife mean to you?
The #GBRauthorlife is synonymous with community to me. While I'm not working on any projects with GBR at present, the On Her Plate and Fitness to Freedom projects both came at a time when I had a need for community. Even though the community was all virtual for me (until I attended the 1st Annual Awards Ceremony and Gala and got to meet many of my co-authors in person), it offered me an opportunity to connect with women who were sharing their own stories of inspiration and encouragement; an opportunity to satisfy my desire for community and feel part of a group.
About The Author
Allison’s parents instilled in her the importance of “I can” thinking, and over the years, she’s had numerous opportunities to apply that lesson. She’s excited to share the power that accompanies a mindset on success.
Allison and her husband Vince have three daughters: eight-year-olds Brynn and Piper and two-year-old Jordan. Allison majored in French at The United States Military Academy at West Point, NY and graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering. She also hold a Master of Science in Management of Technology from Murray State University and a Master of Arts in Organizational
Psychology from Columbia University’s Teachers College. Allison is a flat-vending fundraiser. She sells stickers and temporary tattoos to raise funds for non-profit organizations, and has served as an office in the United States Army and Army Reserves for eighteen years.
Connect with Allison on Instagram: @allison_marschean
Co-Author: Amy Rempel
- What made you want to become a co-author for the book On Her Plate?
This book is my passion book. Since natural methods have helped me in so many ways, I wanted to get this information out for the public. I find personal testimonies to be so powerful, so a book filled with women who are educated in their field but also have personal success stories is a beautiful mix.
- In your chapter, you mention that becoming a vegetarian had the biggest impact in balancing your hormone levels. Was it difficult to cut out meat completely from your diet? Do you ever miss the taste of meat?
It actually wasn't that difficult, but that's because there was a lead up to it. We were already not eating meat once or twice a week and then because of my husband's health, we decided to give vegetarianism a real go. He has acute colitis and because meat is more difficult to digest, we thought this might help. We were amazed that the benefits happened so quickly — my husband felt better within twenty-four hours. For me, it took about a month to really see the difference, but it was worth it! There has been the odd time when I have picked at something my dad made. We're Italian and make some pretty delicious sausage! But that just happens in the moment and probably only three times in a year; I really haven't missed meat.
- What advice would you give to women who are hesitant to try plant-based medicine or have misconceptions about it?
You know, I really have no prejudgment for those women, but I would say don't knock it 'til you try it (properly). I knocked it for years before I finally gave in, and I sometimes want to kick myself for not giving it a shot sooner! It is unfortunate that there are still misconceptions that there's not a lot of research on plant-based medicine or that there are crazy side effects, which simply is not true if you use good quality essential oils and supplements. There is so much more research out there now, and the evidence base is growing because it is becoming more mainstream. One of the biggest misconceptions about essential oils is that they're dangerous to ingest; while I would only ingest one brand (and only recommend this brand), I have healed so many parts of me because I have ingested these oils, and with zero side effects at that. I can now eat gluten, they help with hormone balancing, I no longer have allergies, AND my vision has corrected itself. I just turned forty — my vision is not supposed to get better! Clearly, I could go on and on, but the one thing I would say is to just try it and talk to someone like myself who is educated and knowledgeable in this area so you can get the best recommendations and protocols.
- What does living the #GBRauthorlife mean to you?
Oh my gosh, so much! This means growth, linking arms with like-minded women, standing in my power, and standing up for others. The mission of GBR aligns with so much of my own, and I will forever be affiliated with it! Not to mention the owner is a kick-ass woman whom I highly respect and love. Because of her, I've been able to proudly stand beside this name and brand and recommend anyone who is interested in writing to do so with GBR!
About The Author
Amy Rempel has her degree in communication studies, is a certified exercise nutritional advisor, a best-selling and award-winning author, a reiki and EFT practitioner, and a certified aromatherapist.
She is a well-versed entrepreneur with over fifteen years in the health and wellness industry, and she now helps women take control of their health and their families by providing accessible plant-based medicine and easy-to-follow protocols. She also teaches and trains other women in starting a sustainable business and how to utilize essential oils to further their purpose or career. Amy is passionate about helping others achieve success with health and wealth by offering training in business, networking, and product knowledge.
Connect with Amy on Instagram: @rempel.amy
For more inspiring stories and healthy recipes, order your copy of On Her Plate today!
Interview by Karen Swyszcz, Blog Journalist & co-author in Fitness To Freedom and the Fall 2020 title, Lighting The North
Founder of Makinthebacon
Lead Author for The Defining Digital Moment and Author at Golden Brick Road Publishing House