Who’s Got Time For That???


I love to eat, but I didn’t always love to cook.  I used to dread it actually because as a young adult out on my own, all I knew how to do was pour the box of Kraft Mac-n-Cheese into a pot of boiling water.  Once I became a wife and mother I needed to up my game a bit.  After watching Food Network for a while my interest was piqued and I began to try to cook the meals that Rachael Ray and Giada made look so easy.  It took some experimenting, and my family can tell you, we had some epic flops.  Since then, cooking morphed from being a chore into a hobby.  I have come to love my time in the kitchen.

On the weekends when I really have time to enjoy it, I turn on some music, pour a glass of wine and just create.  As a busy mom and business owner, I don’t always have the time to sip, sing and chop, and I’m sure this is true for you too.

Optimum health begins with the food we put on our plate, but the busier we get, the more we opt for convenience over nutrition.  I realize that without the proper tools, this can be a challenge.

Home-cooked Meals Can Still Have a Place in Our Busy Lives

I have kids involved in sports, so during the week I don’t have the luxury of time, and can’t futz around in the kitchen for hours.  I need a no fuss, no hassle approach to dinner.  I have many easy crock-pot and one-pot recipes to share with you to help you optimize your valuable time.  This recipe is one of my favorites, but you can tweak it anyway you like.

Mediterranean Crock Pot Chicken (Serves 3-4)

  • 3 large boneless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 8 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1/2 cup oil packed sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup capers,
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Season chicken with salt & pepper and place in bottom of crock pot.  Stir in rice, garlic, tomatoes and drained capers.  Mix water, lemon juice, oil and pour over rice and chicken.  Stir to coat chicken and cook for 8 hours on low.

Do It Your Way

You’ve got lots of options with this recipe. I sometimes add Kalamata olives and cheese.  You can serve it inside tortillas or lettuce wraps, or omit the chicken and make it a vegetarian dish.  Be creative, and eat the foods you love.

I Can Help

My coaching program is designed to support busy moms and professionals that struggle to find the time to nurture their mind, body and spirit, let alone prepare nutritious and delicious meals daily.  I want to empower people to take their health into their hands, and be their very best self.  As a Health Coach, my mission is to help my clients make lifestyle changes that help them to not simply survive, but to thrive!

Email me to schedule a free consultation!


My Story

I have enjoyed life here on the central coast since 2000. Originally from Los Angeles County, my husband and I migrated north and planted roots in beautiful Paso Robles where we later had twins. We enjoy a strong faith in the Lord, and feel enormously blessed.

I began my career in business management, and since developed a deep interest in health and fitness.  I received my bachelor’s degree in business from California State University of Northridge. I later enrolled in the Health Coach program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and completed the Personal Trainer Certification through the American Council on Exercise.

Initially, I began taking an interest in health simply because I wanted to look better. My first lifestyle changes were to begin exercising, and eliminate certain foods I knew weren’t stellar (most of which came from a bag or box). As I continued making healthier food choices, and progressed in my fitness routine, I noticed a remarkable difference in the way I felt, and I was excited about the changes in my dress size. As time went on, I discovered how to cure my lifelong struggle with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) as well as my chronic headaches. I had no idea that I could have this much energy. Until I experienced it, I didn’t know what optimum health really felt like. This quest for health and vitality grew over the years, and has become my passion.   My desire is to help others to be well, and feel fantastic. We live in a society riddled with Diabetes, Obesity, Heart Disease, and Cancer. Many of the chronic diseases that are wreaking havoc on Americans are a result of diet and lifestyle and don’t have to just happen. I want to empower people to take their health into their hands, and be their very best self.

My passion for nutrition and fitness has developed into an exciting career. I work with clients to help them reach their goals with support, enthusiasm, and accountability. My program supports busy moms, as well as corporate professionals in achieving a healthy, balanced, and fulfilling life. As a Health Coach, my mission is to help my clients make simple lifestyle changes that help them to not simply survive, but to thrive!


I am now taking signups for my new Group Walk Program.     Contact me for a free consultation, and find out which program is right for you.   HealthCoachLaurel@gmail.com

Run For Your Life


Running is my favorite form of exercise. Most people agree that running is a great way to lose weight and get in shape, but it also offers several health benefits you may not be aware of. Believe it or not, it can drastically improve your life!

Run For Your Shape

If you are running to lose weight, you’ve chosen the right exercise; minute for minute running is one of the most efficient forms of exercise to burn calories. In order to lose one pound of body weight, the body must create a calorie deficit of 3500 calories. This is equal to burning 500 calories per day. Most runners can easily burn off this many calories in less than one hour of exercise. The number of calories burned while running depends on a number of factors including the individual’s weight, the intensity of the workout and the efficiency of the runner. Understand that this is not an exact science for everyone. All calories are not created equal. When and what you eat will affect hormone levels, and metabolism which play a strong role in one’s ability to burn fat. Running forces your body to exert excess energy and hormones, helping you torch those extra calories.

Run for Your Heart

Running not only can raise your levels of HDL (the good cholesterol), but it also can lower your risk of developing blood clots.   By helping the arteries retain their elasticity and strengthening the heart, your chances of suffering a heart attack can be significantly reduced. It can also help reduce the risk of having a stroke.

Run for Your Bones

Your muscles aren’t the only ones getting stronger when you run. Many doctors recommend running for people in the early stages of osteoporosis or osteopenia. About one in two women and up to one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. Running, and other weight bearing exercises increase bone density, decreasing the risk for fractures.

Run For Your Brain

Not all of the benefits of running are physical.  Running can boost your confidence, and self-esteem. By setting and achieving goals, you can help give yourself a greater sense of empowerment that will leave you feeling joyful and accomplished. Your mood will improve with running. Running actually has the ability to alter an individual’s mood because hormones called endorphins are released while running. These hormones create a sense of euphoria often referred to as a runner’s high. This is a great way to conquer depression. It may seem difficult to do when you are depressed, however you will find that after only a few minutes of running, your brain will start to secrete these hormones that naturally improve your mood and relieve stress.  This works better than any prescription. Stress can actually cause a number of health and mood problems.  Among them include its tendency to squash your appetite and quality of sleep.  We all know how crucial a good restorative sleep is for our bodies to function properly.

Run For Your Life

Running is actually a great way to increase your overall level of health. There are a great deal of benefits that can be gained from rigorous exercise such as running. Some of these benefits may include weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, improved bone health, increased muscle strength, improved mood and better coordination, and reduced risk of disease.  Running truly is remarkably beneficial to the body, mind, and spirit. Even short runs can leave you feeling more energized, focused, and better able to enjoy your precious life.


Let’s Get Movin’


Exercise is not just for fitness buffs, or for people who want to look good.  It’s not just for folks who need to lose weight, or sport really toned abs. Our bodies actually require exercise.


We were not created to sit at a desk for extended lengths of time, then in a car, and finally on a cozy sofa. We were certainly not equipped with television remote controls, and cell phones to speed dial to the nearest Chinese take-out joint. Let’s face it, in our early years as hunter-gatherers, we not only had to catch, conquer, and carry our dinner home, we had to dodge beasts and predators to survive. We were created to be active, and our bodies and health suffers if we are not.


Lifestyle diseases become more frequent as countries become more industrialized. A healthy diet and exercise is an absolute must if we want to ward off diseases of civilization, such as: obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, depression, Alzheimer’s, Asthma, Arthritis, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and even cancer. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans state that regular physical activity reduces the risk of many adverse health outcomes, and additional benefits occurs as the amount of physical activity increases through higher intensity, greater frequency, and/or longer duration. Most health benefits occur with at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity activity such as brisk walking.* Both aerobic and muscle strengthening are important for good health.


Getting started in a fitness routine can seem overwhelming, and many people don’t know where to begin. I say choose doing something you enjoy. Honestly, not everyone feels comfortable going to a gym or health club   You are more likely to “stick with it” if you are doing something you enjoy, and who wants to spend 150 minutes a week doing something they dread? If you have kids, get them out there with you. You’d be surprised at how much fun you will have, and besides, it’s a fantastic way to spend quality time with your family. Here are some suggestions that our family enjoy:

  • Bike rides
  • Hikes
  • Scenic walks
  • Beach walks/jogs
  • Kayaking
  • Racquetball , badminton, basketball, or tennis


Physical fitness can often be enjoyed alone, although some prefer to have a buddy to workout with, and hold them accountable. There are several ways to get out and moving, with or without a partner:

  •  Swim laps at a local community pool
  • Join a team, and play a sport you enjoy
  • Rent exercise videos, and try some out in the comfort of your own home (aerobics, Pilates, yoga, etc. )
  • Walk, jog, or bike

An increase in physical activity correlates to better health, increased energy, improved circulation, overall mood, happiness and self-esteem, as well as an increased desire for a healthy, nutritious diet. The important thing is to find a few activities that are enjoyable to you. Get moving, mix it up, and have fun!


Introducing my new Walk n Talk program. This program is for those who would like to begin a fitness routine, but aren’t sure where to start. Maybe you feel insecure about going to the gym. Perhaps you’d like to start walking, but need someone to get out there with you and hold you accountable. This program can be tailored for your specific goals. This is a great opportunity to walk, jog, hike, or simply stroll in the beautiful outdoors. I have options for once or twice a week.

Personal training options available as well. Call or email for a free consultation.

Laurel Marshall, Health Coach & Personal Fitness Trainer


(805) 296-5825

*American Council on Exercise, Personal Trainer Manual

You Can Become a Health Coach Too!

Find out about how you can become a Health Coach, or start an exciting career in the Health and Wellness field.


What is a Health Coach?


The role of a Health Coach is to partner with our clients to help them discover how to reach new levels of health, happiness, and fulfillment. By educating our clients on nutrition and health, we can be a part of lasting change in that person’s journey. Health Coaches are not Doctors or Nutritionists, but can pick up where they leave off, coaching them through lifestyle change, giving them the support and direction they need after they leave the doctors’ office.  A doctor can say “eat healthy” and a Health Coach can show them how.  A Nutritionist can give them a list of things to eat and to avoid, while a Health Coach can help them discover what foods are right for them, using the very important concept of bio- individuality.  To quote Joshua Rosenthal, Founder and Director of Institute for Integrative Nutrition, “one person’s food is another person’s poison.” Each one of us has highly individualistic nutrition requirements based on genetics, blood type, ancestry, metabolism, and so forth.

I practice a holistic approach to health and wellness, which means that I look at how all areas of your life are connected. Does stress at your job or in your relationship cause you to overeat?  Does lack of sleep or low energy prevent you from exercising?  As we work together, we will look at how all parts of your life affect your health as a whole.  My approach is not to dwell on calories, carbs, fats, and proteins.  It is not to create lists of restrictions, or good and bad foods.  Instead, I work with my clients to create a happy, healthy life in a way that is flexible, fun and rewarding.

Together we’ll work to reach your health goals in areas such as achieving optimal weight, reducing food cravings, increasing sleep, and maximizing energy.  As we work together, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of the food and lifestyle choices that work best for you and implement lasting changes that will improve your energy, balance and health.

Contact me for a free initial consultation!


(805) 296-5825

Is Gluten-Free Just a Fad?

Gluten free products are popping up all over the place.  The demand for gf items in stores and restaurants is growing rapidly.  Do you ever wonder what the deal is with gluten?  I suffered with severe IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) since birth.  It was often debilitating, and kept me from enjoying many events and activities because I was stuck home in excruciating pain.  I also suffered from chronic headaches, so Excedrin was a nightly necessity for me.  I tried to avoid foods that I thought might be causing the tummy trouble including dairy and fried foods.  I suffered even when I thought I was eating really healthy foods.  Almost one year ago, I  decided to take a friend’s advice and go gluten free.  In doing so I stumbled upon an amazing discovery.  Since the removal of wheat and other products containing gluten, I noticed that my symptoms were finally gone…even the headaches!  I decided to do some research on gluten, and found that it can be a serious trigger for IBS sufferers.  Watch this video from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to learn more about gluten, and decide if a gluten-free diet is right for you.

Behind the Gluten Controversy

Eden’s Favorite Juicing Recipe

This is a delicious and sweet juice that my daughter Eden and I just love.  The boys like it too, once they get past the color.    If you have a juicer this only takes a few minutes because it only has a few ingredients.  Beet juice supports healthy blood circulation throughout the body including brain, heart and muscles, and is also known to lower blood pressure.  Carrot juice is packed with beta carotene,  which turns to vitamin A in the body.  Studies show Vitamin A to play a large role in Cancer prevention, and is extremely beneficial to the liver for it’s cleansing effects.  It also strengthens bones and teeth.  This juice is loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients, but these are only a few of the many benefits. Your body will thank you!


Eden’s Pink Juice

1 apple (we like Pink Ladies, Galas, or Fujis)

1 purple beet (save the greens and saute or steam for a delicious side dish)

1/2 inch slice of ginger

4 or 5 carrots

3 or 4 kale leaves

Serve over ice if desired and enjoy!

Hello Friends

I am so excited to begin this new journey as a Holistic Health Coach and Personal Trainer.  As I complete my training at Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and begin to build my practice, this blog will allow me to share with you helpful health and wellness articles, recipes, fitness tips, as well as special experiences on this new adventure.  Please sign up to receive my blog posts.  It is my hope that I can help to inspire others toward a Lifestyle Divine!