Zest Juice for Life: Meet Natalie Boddeker


Every year of college I have done something different, met new people and attempted to try new things. That is what college is about because how else would be discover who we are or what we are called to do? With that being said, I am so excited to introduce to you all Zest!

As I say over and over again, I firmly believe that God puts people in your life for a reason and with health and blogging on my heart, I have gotten the opportunity to do what I love and work for Zest, our local juice bar in Bowling Green, started by the most inspiring woman, Natalie Boddekar.



It just so happens she is a family member to one of my sorority sisters. Small world right? I am so excited to help grow their PR and learn about everything that encompasses starting a business and promoting positive health and lifestyle.

She has mentored me already in so many areas and I want to share that with you! Below you will find some Q and A questions with Natalie, details on her products, health benefits, and discounts for YOU! Lets get started!


Natalie is a loving mother, wife and friend who strives for Bowling Green to be healthy. She was previously a manager at her old job for over 10 years, but decided to go on a juice fast for 50 days! Yes, amazing right? She said,

I wanted everyone to feel as good as I did.

From starting out at local farmers markets, her homemade, cold pressed juices grew so much that she opened up her own shop in August, 2013. She describes her shop as,

My shop is my happy place. I want people to come here and feel comfortable and calm.

As every customer can read in their pamphlet online or in the store, all of the juices are made by a Goodnature X-1 cold press juicer, referred to as Gordy, and a hand operated citrus juicer, they call Lola, to maximize nutrients in each bottle!

Their ingredients come from local farmers to make sure each bottle has fresh ingredients. Their juices vary due to the seasonal fruits and veggies so you never know what new juices you will get to try.


They sell everything from nut butters, granolas, fruit juices, vegetable juices, sushi, hummus, dark chocolates, jewelry, essential oils, flowers, and homemade almond milks! Heaven am I right?

Below is a list of just a few of the local vendors she uses for her products. Click for more information!

Gone Nuts

Living Raw

Young Living Essential Oils

Fifth Gallon Kombucha

Leah Johnson Canvas Prints

In the shop are more things that vary seasonally and weekly! She always has business cards for local health companies for any references.

What’s been my favorite part of working here?

The positive moods, encouragement and relationships built within this small shop astounds me. I am introduced to new people and information every day and I want that for you as well!

Every juice has a healing tool, pounds of produce within the bottles and TASTE!

Currently we are selling the seasonal vegan chili and it is amazing!

A bowl of their homemade granola for breakfast, vegan chili for lunch and a juice in between sounds like a good day to me.


For more information on ingredients, flavors always in stock and health benefits, visit the Zest website.

Keep Calm and Juice On 

Hello Rebbl

Happy Tuesday!

I love finding convenient and healthy treats on the go. This summer, I got the chance to try drinks by Rebbl and fell in love!

When I find healthy foods I want to share, I look at more than the ingredients. I look at the reason for creating a product and the story behind the package.

After looking at the company’s website, I read about their product’s philosophy and their standards include-

  • True taste
  • Organic 
  • Fair trade 
  • Real ingredients 
  • Efficacy 
  • Driving Impact 

“At the end of the day, they sell elixirs to inspire healthy living, but they go further with their passion by driving impact…It is our calling to fight human trafficking through impact sourcing and supply chain in partnership with the non-profit Not For Sale. In doing so, we must address climate change, which is inextricably linked to human trafficking. This helps to protect vulnerable communities from ever being trafficked.  In addition, we donate 2.5% of the net sales of every bottle sold to Not For Sale to rehabilitate those who’ve already been affected.”

Amazing right?! If you want to read more into what the primary points above mean, read their full article and watch a video on their wholesome products here!


Their team is awesome and they wish their customers a “life of love and fullness.” Similar to my motto to love, create, inspire, share, their products were at the top of my list to taste test so the awesome Rebbl team sent me coupons to try and share with you all!

My two new favorites are above, the matcha latte and turmeric golden milk, made with fresh coconut milk. Their elixirs and proteins come in various flavors (as you see below) and they even have cold brew coffee that I have grabbed on many road trips.

A huge thank you to the Rebbl team and I hope you go and try!

TJ’s Banana Pancakes

Hi gorgeous! I am a definite Trader Joe’s enthusiast and LOVE their products because they are yummy, healthy and convenient.

Take a look at these dairy and gluten free pancakes. All I had to do was heat them up…yes you heard me. Sometimes, we don’t have time to cook or don’t have the proper gluten or dairy free ingredients, so these are my new go-to!

I sprinkled with cinnamon and drizzled honey with maple syrup and no butter. If you want butter, go for it! Linked here is their page with other items they offer. Time for you to pick up your own batch! Fuel your body and enjoy those early morning banana pancakes.

Xo. Hannah

When You Fall, Get Back Up

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I was never one who enjoyed sitting still. Being active was always a passion of mine and still is, but my journey to finding what my body needed regarding physical activity was a rough one and I am still recovering. Have you every pushed yourself to a point where you are broken down, exhausted and unhappy? Why do we choose to wake up and do that every day? My body was screaming to stop but I fought it every day until my doctor told me to stop. I’m going to share what I have chosen to do with my life for physical activity and it was the best choice I ever made!

|1 Corinthians 6:19 |

“Or do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”

As I have mentioned earlier, as soon as I got to college I started running every day on a treadmill for two miles and walked up and down hills to class to avoid taking the bus. I did this not to enjoy being outside, but to burn more calories so I would not feel bad eating some chips at my sorority event. This mindset consumed me and then I continued to do hot yoga classes to sweat even more. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE hot yoga and still do it, but more for relaxation. Yoga is wonderful for stretching, setting a peaceful mindset and adjusting your body to what it needs that day. I highly recommend it! However, day after day I put stress on my body by looking in the mirror and feeling great about myself, until my knees starting hurting really bad whenever I bent them. I bought a brace and still went to the gym every day. I continued my exercise routine and then my hip flexors started to feel like they were ripping to a point where I couldn’t walk to class. I still tried to hike every hill and step to get those extra physical activities in until one day I was laying on an X-ray table and the doctor told me to stop running because the muscle tissue in my hip flexors were wearing away. My thought was, how am I going to keep weight off if I can’t run? My mindset had to change and the Lord made that clear to me on Wednesday, September 2, 2015.

My doctor told me to take barre classes or water aerobics to heal but I was stubborn and tried to do my midweek run on this Wednesday. This only resulted with me crying alone in my apartment while sitting on an ice pack. I was suppose to be getting ready for church but refused to go. My roommate walked in to my surprise because she was suppose to be somewhere else and told me she had a feeling that I was going to fight going to church that night and insisted I went, so off I went to worship. Ignoring every word of the sermon, I was so upset because I didn’t want to sit there with puffy eyes until all of a sudden, mid-sermon, this man hopped on stage and said,

“We need to stop looking at our physical self and saying we aren’t good enough. We need to minimize ourselves and magnetize Him.”

Mind blown. God clearly was talking to me and from that day forward I was determined to find a physical activity that would heal me, bring me joy and feed me strength in the right way.

Welcome to Barre! 

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I finally decided to listen to my doctor and went back to the sport I loved the most, barre class. I grew up taking ballet classes, but this upbeat workout shakes every muscle, stretches you out and puts no impact on your joints. In class, I am toning my body by doing small movements that engages all muscles. I found my workout home at the local barre studio, Barre Company, where I am encouraged by teachers and am now addicted! I have learned that in order for your body to heal, you have to find something you love. Barre techniques are not like any other exercise class because you are doing multiple reps of small range-in-motion movements. I still love changing classes up and will go to spin and yoga classes, but my body reacts best to a barre workout. What works best for your body? I have learned that I no longer have to run miles to feel amazing. Although there are days where I will take jogs on beautiful days, I don’t have to beat my body to the ground.

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I want to encourage you to take a step away from workout machines and find a workout community full of friends that will keep you on the right track. Below you will see my beautiful friend who inspired me to take barre and is my inspiration in every class. She encourages me in my faith and pumps me up with music before every class. I can lean on her to keep me on the right track, whether that is resting or holding my plank for a few more minutes. Find someone in your life who warms your heart like she warms mine because I no longer run alone in a gym. I wake up and enjoy my coffee, take beautiful long walks before barre, enjoy sweet conversation with people after class, and look at myself as God’s creation. Tomorrow is a new day. How will you spend it?IMG_3127

*Photography by: Danielle Wilson / featuring Hannah Kerr and Danielle Wilson at Barre Company*

Loving Where You Are

Happy Friday! When planning my weekends, I have started a new idea where every weekend I want to discover new places to shop, dine and explore! I have realized as college is flying by, I am only in one area for such little time, so I need to make every second of every moment by finding local treasures that make that place special. At this time in my life, God has placed me in Bowling Green, KY. When people ask me why I chose WKU, my honest answer is that it just felt right. My plan was to move far away to a huge school, but every time I went somewhere there was a feeling that this didn’t feel like home. The day I set foot on WKU’s campus, I felt such peace there. I was the only girl from my graduating class to attend there and instead of being scared, I was SO excited to meet new people. I love Bowling Green so much and have found my favorite go-to places for coffee, food, desserts and more!

IMG_5906People have been asking where I go to eat and what I eat when I decide to dine out. I used to tell myself that wherever I went I will always get a salad and if there is a dessert only eat half. That being said, I have had to realize that eating out can be a treat and you can find amazing, healthy options that aren’t just greens. I mentioned earlier that BG doesn’t have a Trader Joe’s; however, tucked away by a small children’s consignment shop is my new favorite place, the Nutrition Center. It is like a miniature Whole Foods with everything from fresh probiotics, vegan and dairy free desserts, foot detoxes and my absolute favorite wall of goodies that consists of natural dried fruits, raw nuts and super grains! They are the perfect quick, on the go snack that always costs me under $6!

When it comes to actual restaurants, I will usually get a salad but now I always order it with grilled chicken because every meal should have at least some form of protein! I have noticed that ever since I started eating more lean meats, my knees do not ache as much. I usually eat grilled chicken or salmon at restaurants, but if someone is grilling for a special occasion or there are only burgers offered I will eat a hamburger with no bun. I used to get made fun of a lot for not eating the bun, but I would rather just eat the meat and have a full side of sweet potato fries! I LOVE those and if there is bread before, have some!! Don’t be afraid to eat the bread on the table like me because you will look back and realize that eating one piece of bread won’t hurt you, especially if you have been walking up and down WKU’s hill! We aren’t called the Hilltoppers for nothing. Where do I find these yummy salads? One of my favorite restaurants in BG is Wheatless! Below you will see my usual. You know it’s sad when you walk in and they already have your order…anyway this salad consists of one full piece of bread, kale, eggs, asparagus, avocado, onions, feta, pecans, cherry tomatoes, and I always add the chicken. I eat it all every time and feel great!

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You can find healthy, filling and yummy options everywhere. Below are common places I go to with friends with a glimpse of wonderful options, even fast food cause I know college doesn’t always allow time for sit down meals-

  • Cheddar’s: Salmon with broccoli, corn, and a side caesar that comes with a croissant
  • Subway: 6′ flat bread with turkey, 1 slice provolone cheese or none at all, toasted with extra spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, oil, vinegar, with a side of apple slices.
  • Wendy’s and Chick-filea offer amazing summer salads with apples, strawberries, nuts, a small amount of cheese, and grilled chicken. I love to sprinkle granola on top for some extra crunch!
  • McDonald’s: They offer a quick and ready oatmeal I’ve picked up on road trips with raisins and brown sugar
  • Mexican restaurants: chips with salsa or guacamole for starters, 2 soft shell tacos with CORN tortillas with grilled chicken, veggies and a small amount of cheese. I never feel bloated or gross after eating Mexican because I try to stick with wholesome products in order to avoid all the processed rice, beans and flour tortillas.

12919695_10209336356992167_3810223508802887238_nDon’t be afraid to eat out. Last night, I was at an event doing some extra photography because I love doing that for a hobby! Afterwards, there was a seated dinner after that offered barbecue, baked beans, macaroni and so much more. Instantly I got nervous and looked around the room noticing my mind drifting to a judgmental place when I saw people eat the mac and cheese, barbecue and pie. I looked up to see everyone enjoying themselves, sharing stories and laughing. That is what going out with people should be like! I was missing moments because my thoughts were drifting to a self-conscious place. So I went through the line and filled my plate with a spinach salad, broccoli salad, green beans and the mac and cheese. I ate every bit. I used to love eating mac and cheese growing up. Why did I stop? I ended up having such an amazing time and continued my night by spontaneously meeting up with a friend for a late night coffee. I never say no to a coffee! Stay tuned for posts about my cozy coffee cup obsession! A night I would have worried about turned into such a fun and memorable evening. Where is your mindset when you go out?

September 18, 2015 I wrote in my little pink journal a devotional on confidence. I was struggling with finding my confidence in others and seeking compliments and reassurance from them. I wrote,

“My circumstances might change dramatically, but the Lord remains the same throughout time and eternity. That is the basis of my confidence.”

At the bottom of my notebook I wrote down Romans 15:13 that I want to leave you all with today. Go out this weekend with no worries, eat, socialize, have fun, and praise God for your health and beauty.

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will over flow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit”

 

 

 

Snacks, Snacks and More Snacks

I LOVE snacking! It is great for your body to snack throughout the day because it keeps your metabolism up; however, snacks do not replace meals. My best friend used to remind me of that and I constantly ignored him because I was so scared to actually eat a large meal…crazy I know. With that being said, below are a few of my favorite go-to snacks that I’ve eaten this week but of course I change it up all the time because where is the fun in living in a routine??

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On the left, my go to protein bar is a Quest bar. They are an amazing source of protein and come in bunches of flavors! They are always on sale at Kroger and they have only 1 gram of sugar and 20 grams of protein. The chocolate chip cookie dough is my absolute favorite because it literally tastes like a dessert. It contains simple ingredients and is great before and after a workout, or in my case just in between meals as a snack!

Now on to my addiction to almond butter…you can never have too much almond butter in your life. On the right is a little to-go pack that I found at TJ Maxx!! Let me say, that is my favorite store ever. If I need retail therapy at the end or even at the beginning of the week I will be there. My roommate found the best kale chips there so why not snack and shop?

 

Healthy Grocery Shopping on a College Budget

I get asked all the time what to buy at the grocery store! I go once or twice every two weeks and never spend more that $50. Trader Joe’s is my go to place! However, Bowling Green does not have one so I go to Kroger and they always have sales on their salmon, quinoa and almond butter! For those who do not know me, fun fact is that I LOVE grocery shopping. When I want to run errands to get away from life I go straight to the grocery store. Below are all of my go to items:

Fruit:You don’t have to buy them organic but those options are available also!

  • apples
  • bananas
  • blueberries
  • grapes
  • grapefruit

Meat: 

  • frozen or pre-made salmon
  • frozen grilled chicken from Simple Truth Organic

Dairy: 

  • 1 dozen carton of Simple Truth Organic, cage free eggs

Carbohydrates: 

  • Ezekiel Bread
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Steel cut or regular oatmeal (add cinnamon, honey/agave and almond milk for extra taste)
  • Brown rice cakes
  • Rice crackers
  • Bear Naked granola (my favorite is banana nut)
  • Seeds of Change quinoa and brown rice mix (all you do is heat the bag for 2 minutes in the microwave and it’s already done and an amazing side item!)

Greens: 

  • spinach for salads or sauté them!
  • veggies
    • broccoli
    • cauliflower
    • corn
    • brussel sprouts

NOW TREAT YOURSELF!

My doctor told me to LIVE life as a college student. Go eat ice cream, grab an extra cookie at the restaurant, craving a Reese’s?? (aka my favorite candy) GRAB A HANDFUL. If you find yourself craving dark chocolate, which is actually good for you, then that means your body needs some sugar. Listen to your body! I have found myself happier now that I actually go out for ice cream with my friends and not feel bad. Life is too short to not live it to the fullest every day.

WHAT DO MY MEALS LOOK LIKE?

Here are some examples of some of my simple go-to meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner that are so quick to make! When I’m hurrying to class, these are easy and so yummy! Remember, I don’t eat like this every day because my favorite breakfast meal is a cinnamon roll 🙂 IMG_7209IMG_5819IMG_5897

My Wake Up Call

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Hello beautiful! Today I get to share with you how I got here and why I want to help you!

Let me start with saying that I am 5’6 and have always loved being active. Starting my freshman year of college I was already tall, lean and did not need to worry about gaining weight, but I told myself that I was determined not to gain the “freshman 15”.

I was a competitive dancer my entire life and grew up around girls who cared a lot about their physical appearance. I was one of them and I remember one day one girl looked at me and told me I lost weight and from that day forward I strove to get more and more compliments like that.

When I got to college I began to run instead of dance and ran on a treadmill for 2 miles every day. I never ate a slice of pizza or drank a cup of beer at a party. I would maybe eat ice cream on a splurge day. My mindset grew more narrow when girls started referring to me as one of the healthiest girls they knew and saying, “wow I wish I could eat and look like you”.

As time went on I would refuse to eat certain things and when I did eat something bad I would feel awful about myself. Starting my sophomore year not much had changed until I noticed my body slowly weakening. My hip flexors lost muscle tissue and I had to stop running, my wrists became so weak that I had and continue to wear wrist braces when I sleep at night and my knees became so bony, I couldn’t kneel on the floor or get up a flight of stairs without them aching. Yes, I still have to wear braces that look like wrestling mitts and my knees ache every day. I’m a work in progress!

Most of my bone aches were caused because I was calcium deficiant and had no protein in my system. After several break downs later, I went to the doctor only a few months ago and was told I had secondary amenorrhea.

WHAT IS AMENORRHEA?

Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation in women. There are two forms: primary and secondary. I had secondary, meaning that for six or more months, you stop menstruating. The most common cause to of secondary amenorrhea is hormone imbalance, where one’s estrogen levels are very low, over exercising or low body weight.

When I got tested, I was told that my estrogen levels were at the same level as a fifty year old woman after menopause…for a twenty year old this is not what you want to hear. You can be given certain medications, but in my case I was told that medicine was not the answer. Changing my mindset was the answer. I had to learn what my body needed and why my body needs it.

Below are pictures when I thought I looked amazing!! Looking back, I had no healthy fats on my body and realized this is not how God created me to look…

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HOW DO I GAIN WEIGHT IN A HEALTHY WAY?

Well, after crying after eating a piece of pizza I decided to really research how I can eat healthy, feel good and add nutritious fats to my body because FATS ARE GOOD FOR YOU. Yes, I didn’t realize that either. From that day forward I chose to add lean meats, healthy fats and carbs to my diet every day. I HIGHLY recommend these organic, healthy options below:

  • Avocados (ate them with almost every meal!)
  • Grilled chicken
  • Salmon
  • Sautéed veggies in olive oil
  • Ezekiel bread with mashed avocados or almond butter with chia seeds and a banana!
  •  Eggs, eggs, and more eggs 🙂

Read a more extensive grocery list on how to buy all healthy options for over a week under $50!

Moving forward is probably one of the hardest things I’m going to get through because I thought I was doing everything right, but instead found myself beating myself up and hurting my body from the inside out. I was ready for the change and I couldn’t do that without taking a step of faith. Please continue to read other posts as I share how God has and is in the process of shaping my mindset.